Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Whole Foods said it’s changing its store hours during the coronavirus crisis to accommodate older shoppers and help keep stores clean.

Starting today, customers who are 60 and older will be able to shop at stores in the US and Canada one hour before opening time for the general public. For instance, if a store’s posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., these older customers can come in starting at 8 a.m. 

Starting on Thursday, customers in the UK who are 70 and older can come in one hour early. These changes were put into place to help older customers, who have been identified by health officials as more vulnerable to the virus.

Additionally, Whole Foods stores will start closing up to two hours early “to restock shelves, sanitize our stores and rest in preparation for the next day,” the company said. During those times, stores will remain open for pickup and Prime deliveries. 

Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, is one of many grocers and major retailers that have modified their hours and protocols amid the coronavirus outbreak. For example, Walmart this week reduced hours at its 24-hour locations to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to help with restocking and cleaning. 

Many other supermarket chains across the country have trimmed store hours, while major retailers like Apple and Nike have closed their stores entirely.

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