Starting May 16, Publix stores will return to normal business hours, the company announced.

Starting Saturday, Publix stores will expand its business hours, the company announced.

The stores will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the pharmacy will return to normal operating hours. Designated shopping hours for customers over the age of 65, first responders and health care workers are being discontinued, a press release from the company said.

Publix officials did say they encourage customers who prefer to shop when the store is less crowded to come in during the 7 a.m. hour.

"Thank you for your patience over the past several weeks while we’ve operated under reduced hours," the press release said.

The chain previously rolled out special shopping hours for seniors, vulnerable guests and first responders because of the pandemic.

"With our newly expanded hours, we will suspend reserved shopping hours. We do understand some customers prefer to shop when the stores are less crowded," Publix said. "We encourage you to shop during the first hour of the day, when we can better accommodate that need."

The announcement said each store will continue to support social distancing and the well-being of its associates and customers by conducting additional cleaning and preventive sanitation before and after store hours. That includes:

• Sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day

• Requiring associates to wear face coverings and allowing associates to wear disposable, non-latex gloves where not prohibited by OSHA regulations

• Encouraging six-foot separation through regular intercom announcements signage and floor decals and one-way shopping aisles

• Having plexiglass shields at all registers, pharmacies and customer service counters

• Promoting contactless pay

• Allowing store managers to limit the number of customers inside stores.

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(1) comment

Retired Army

Publix continues to squeeze folks by increasing prices on almost every item in their store, they are truly taking advantage of folks during this pandemic, shame on them!

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