A sign in front of the Lynnwood Costco warns shoppers of the rule starting May 4 that all who enter must wear a face covering. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

A sign in front of the Lynnwood Costco warns shoppers of the rule starting May 4 that all who enter must wear a face covering. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

Costco shoppers, you gotta wear masks starting Monday

Whole Foods will offer free masks at the entrance and is “requesting” customers cover their faces.

LYNNWOOD — Starting Monday, you’ll need more than your membership card to get past the door guards at Costco.

If you’re not wearing a mask, you’re not getting inside.

Costco is the first grocery giant to require shoppers to wear facial coverings at all stores nationwide. Employees also must wear masks.

A sign in front of the Lynnwood Costco alerted customers of the upcoming rule. Those under age 2 or who can’t wear a mask due to medical conditions can go barefaced.

A worker announced it to incoming shoppers during Tuesday’s special senior hour.

“Just a heads-up… starting Monday, anybody that walks into the building will be required to have a mask on. So if you don’t have one, and you want to shop next week, you better get your hands on one,” she said.

Another heads-up: Starting next week, senior hours will be 9 to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.

The store, which has been on reduced hours, will go back to normal operating hours Monday. No more than two people can enter with each membership card. Healthcare workers and first responders can move to the front of the line.

 

Whole Foods announced Thursday it is “requesting” mask use by customers and will provide free disposable masks at the entrance.

“Over the next week, we will begin requesting that all customers wear masks while shopping in our stores to protect the health and safety of our team members and communities,” the Amazon-owned chain’s website said.

Most stores require masks for workers but not shoppers.

“We have been asking that grocery stores require customers to wear masks,” said Tom Geiger, spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers 21, which includes Fred Meyer employees, and union partners at Teamsters 38 that includes QFC, Safeway, Albertsons and Haggen.

“We support all workers and customers wearing a mask and feel that is an essential way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus,” he said.

Geiger said other measures are important.

“Shoppers also should keep six feet from others,” he said. “The only way to allow for safe distancing is for all grocery stores to limit the number of people allowed in a store at one time. They need to enforce these limits. The health and safety of workers and shoppers alike depend on this.”

On Whidbey Island at The Star Store, a popular market on First Street in downtown Langley, shoppers must wear masks. “… Or you just can’t come in and play with us,” the Facebook post reads. “Missing your beautiful faces! Stay safe and sane!”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear face coverings in public, but it is not required.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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