Murphy Announces NJ’s Mask Mandate to End Friday

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy listens during his daily coronavirus news conference in Trenton, N.J. (Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool)

New Jersey will no longer require masks indoors starting Friday, May 28, Governor Phil Murphy announced at a press conference on Monday. Additionally, the 6 feet social distancing requirement will be rescinded.

Murphy defended his hesitation in ending the mask mandate, saying, “I do not, for one minute, regret us taking these extra two weeks to ensure that the dramatic decreases we had been seeing in both cases and hospitalizations would continue.”

Indoor gathering limits will expire on June 4, and the 30% limit on indoor gathering venues.

Businesses will be able to require masks for employees and customers or guests on their premises. According to CDC guidelines, masks will continue to be required in public transit, airports, healthcare settings, public-facing state offices, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.

But for areas where children gather, especially those too young to be vaccinated, masks will continue to be required, including childcare centers, summer camps, preschool programs, and all elementary and secondary schools, regardless if they are public or private.

Though it is no longer required, Murphy urged people who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks as a precaution. “If you’re not vaccinated, we expect you to have a higher standard of care… We’re not gonna put the workers in harms way,” he said.