For the next three weeks, Target (TGT 0.55%) will stop accepting in-store returns and exchanges at all of its U.S. locations, according to a coronavirus precaution update posted on the retailer's website yesterday. The suspension of returns is slated to last between March 26 and April 16. Target says it is taking this step "to be extra cautious" in its efforts to help prevent spread of COVID-19 through contact between customers and store personnel.

The return and exchange counter at a California Target.

Image source: Target.

The retail chain is extending the return period by three weeks past the original return deadline so customers won't miss out. Any currently returnable items that would expire before April 17 will now remain eligible for return or exchange through May 7 instead.

The statement by CEO Brian Cornell went on to detail other measures intended to help control spread of the virus, including deep cleaning of checkout lanes between customers and the use of alternating lanes to give workers more time to sanitize surfaces before the next shopper comes through.

Additionally, people who bring reusable bags will be asked to pack up their own purchases. Single-use plastic and paper bags will continue to be available as normal. If individual Target stores charge for these disposable bags, the fees will be waived for the duration of the reusable bag suspension.

This news comes shortly after Target decided to postpone new store remodeling plans until next year, bumping with almost 2,700 remodeling jobs to 2021 as a response to the coronavirus outbreak's effects.