Shopping at Costco (NASDAQ:COST) will soon require more than just a membership card. The warehouse retailer said on Thursday that beginning May 4, all shoppers will need to wear a face covering while inside the store.

The requirement is in line with the latest COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which recommend face masks be worn that cover the nose and mouth wherever social distancing is difficult to maintain. Costco has been limiting customer traffic in recent weeks, but is set to resume a more normal operating posture, with regular hours beginning at most locations next week.

A woman shops while wearing a face mask.

Image source: Getty Images.

Management said it was aware that some shoppers might disagree with the face mask policy, but it ultimately decided to err on the side of maximum safety for customers and employees.

"As part of community," CEO Craig Jelinek said, "we believe this simple act of safety and courtesy is one that Costco members and employees can undertake together."

It isn't clear yet whether other businesses will adopt the same measures now that the industry is preparing to reopen in the coming weeks. But Costco's position as the nation's second-largest retailer could inspire peers to announce similar requirements.

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