Costco Just Lifted This Safety Restriction For Members

The struggle was real if you were a Costco member with children who needed to shop for supplies in the middle of a pandemic. How were you expected to do the grocery run when there was a two-person limit on your membership card? As it happens, good things come to those who wait, and Costco has finally said it would lift the two-person entry restrictions on its membership cards. Even though a number of health and safety experts still say you shouldn't really be shopping with children (they touch everything and then poke their eyes, noses, or mouths with dirty fingers), it's still good to know you finally have options (via Today). However, the new change doesn't apply to members in Kentucky and Puerto Rico, which will only allow one person to enter on one membership card at this time (via Costco).

That's not the only good news Costco had for us: The warehouse store chain has also reopened its food courts (did we hear a cheer?), but they're still only doing takeout at this time. The menu may be limited, but we still get access to our hotdogs, sodas, cheese and pepperoni pizzas.

But not everything is as it was. Costco hasn't changed its policy on maintaining special shopping times for seniors and persons with disabilities; it's also keeping its three items per person limit on beef, pork, and chicken, and it won't accept certain returns on certain items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes.

A viral Facebook post shed light on the policy's inconvenience

On May 8, Rachael Flick, a Costco member and widow of a fallen police officer went viral when she posted an open letter on Facebook to the warehouse store, in which she explained how the two-person per card limit affected hers and other families. 

"Now we're navigating a 'new normal.' And my family of three can't come. 'Only two people per membership.' For covid. For social distancing. For the elderly and the immune compromised. For the safety of others. My husband gave his life for what is true. What is right. [...] My husband gave his life for FREEDOM. [...] America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. If their widows and their orphans can't walk your aisles, six feet apart, what are the people like my husband fighting and dying for?"

Flick ended her plea, "Costco, Corporate America, don't forget us, don't stop fighting for us. Include us in this new normal: the Heroes, and their widows and their orphans. Remember us and we'll keep fighting for you."

Costco responded on May 13, extending their sympathies, and writing, "We recognize the extreme hardship the pandemic has caused to so many in so many ways, including some of the temporary business decisions Costco had to make. Be assured those decisions were made strictly to protect the health and safety of our members and our employees. That is our highest priority." The company informed Flick that the restriction of two members per card had been lifted.

Another one of Costco's new safety rules had some members seething

We could see Costco gradually moving back to a new normal, when earlier this month it said it would revert to its original store hours, but on the condition that everyone who enters the store wears a mask (everyone that is, except for children under 2 years of age or those who cannot wear a mask because of a medical condition). Even though Costco's CEO Craig Jelinek was very clear about the reasons it why was adopting the mask rule, that seemed to be a deal breaker for some folks, who went on social media calling for members to give up their memberships and #BoycottCostco.

Still, most consumers CNBC spoke to have said they are sticking by the membership warehouse store. Members who support the brand say buying in bulk has allowed them to cut down on trips to the supermarket; it's also not as full as it could be, because members and staff practice social distancing because they still limit the number of people that can shop at any one time. And while members are also crazy about the deals on other products and services like travel, prescription drugs, and optical services, Costco says it is only offering limited services at the hearing aid, optical, flower, and jewelry departments at this time, and they haven't indicated when service will resume. But for now, you can bring another family member if absolutely necessary.