LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Warehouse giant Costco announced Wednesday that it will begin limiting the number of people allowed into its stores amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A sign inside Costco greets shoppers with a message on inventory on March 26, 2020, in Overland Park, Kansas. (Getty Images)

Beginning Friday, Costo will only allow two people per membership card to enter their warehouses at a time. That applies to households, for example, who bring more than two family members to the store.

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“This temporary change is for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members, and to further assist with our social distancing efforts,” the company said in a statement.

Costco, more so than other supermarkets due to how it sells items in bulk, has seen massive lines over the past several weeks as Californians ordered to remain in their homes look to stock up on essentials such as toilet paper and disinfectant wipes.

Due to the panic buying, Costco was forced to put a limit on the amount of essential items customers can purchase. It also prohibited the return of recently hoarded items, including toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice, and Lysol.

Grocery stores across the region have enacted similar measures in an attempt to promote social distancing and keep their employees safe, such as reducing hours, having special morning hours reserved just for seniors, as well as limiting the total number of people allowed in their store at one time.

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