Keen Costco shoppers outside of the Lake Macquarie area or a five kilometre radius from the store are being urged to wait for restrictions to ease to shop at the new warehouse.
Costco will open at Boolaroo next Thursday, August 26 but current COVID-19 restrictions mean that few Newcastle residents will be within the acceptable boundary to shop at the store if the lockdown continues until then.
Costco store openings in other locations have attracted long queues of people wanting to get a first look at the store. However, under the current lockdown rules, shopping must be done within a person's local government area or within five kilometres of their home. Only one person per household may leave each day to shop for food or other goods, plus any dependent people that cannot be left on their own. No browsing is allowed.
Costco managing director Patrick Noone said the company had continued to operate as an essential service across its 12 other Australian locations for the past 18 months of the pandemic.
"During this time we have continued to work with the relevant authorities, as well as adhere to all developing COVID restrictions and advice as they are given," Mr Noone said.
"All Costco employees are given training to ensure they comply with the strict COVID Safe Plan and protocols we have put in place."
Mr Noone said the company was working with authorities in the lead up to the opening to ensure compliance with NSW Department of Health guidelines.
He urged members to familiarise themselves with and follow current public health orders in regards to checking in with the QR code at the entrance, social distancing, wearing a face mask, sanitising hands and only visiting the site if shoppers are located within the allowed radius.
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said there were "very real concerns" people could breach lockdown orders to visit the store, but the responsibility to do the right thing fell on individuals.
"The business can't say we won't do our normal operation because someone might breach the rules," Mr Piper said.
He acknowledged the store would be an "attractor", and that people from outside the area would be keen to see the new warehouse, but unfortunately it is not possible for them to do so at the moment.
"It's really unfortunate we're in a situation where a big investor in this area has to downscale how it opens," he said. "I know people would like to come from all over.
"But people need to stop trying to find loopholes. I would hope people use common sense. When lockdown is lifted then you can go and enjoy the place.
"The community has to follow the rules. Don't try and shut down a business that can legitimately operate.
"It's going to open for the people who can access it and the 250 people who will start working there. It's really important for them and their families that it stays open."
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