This Memorial Day weekend will be different from the last. Starting today, Friday May 28th, fully-vaccinated people in New Jersey will no longer be required to wear a mask in most indoor settings as mask mandate lifts, Governor Murphy announces.
New Jersey is one of the last states to lift it’s masking mandate after the CDC announced its updated guidelines for vaccinated individuals earlier this month. During the height of the pandemic, New Jersey reported the highest per-capita death rate in the U.S. This led to some hesitation from state officials when the CDC’s mask mandate was recently lifted.
“I do not for one minute regret our taking these extra two weeks to ensure that the dramatic decreases we have begun seeing in cases and hospitalizations continue,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said during a briefing in Trenton.
Now, the state will begin reopening today, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. As of Friday, May 28th, masks will no longer be required indoors or outdoors for fully-vaccinated individuals. However, there are some exceptions. Masks will still be required in:
- State offices, such as Motor Vehicle Commission agencies
- Worksites that are closed to the public, including warehousing and manufacturing facilities
- Health care settings, correctional facilities and homeless shelters
- On airplanes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation
- In transportation hubs such as airports and stations
- Child care centers and facilities, elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools
Individual businesses also reserve the right to enforce their own policies regarding mask wearing.
For the unvaccinated, Governor Murphy strongly encourages people to continue to wear a mask in any indoor public setting and to get vaccinated when possible.
If you are not fully vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to follow @CDCgov guidance and wear a face mask in any indoor public setting.⁰⁰Please be responsible and do the right thing – for your own safety and your community’s safety. pic.twitter.com/uL1p2WBrV6
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 24, 2021
In addition to lifting the mask mandate, New Jersey is lifting the requirement for maintaining six feet of social distance in indoor and outdoor settings. This means businesses, such as restaurants, can now place tables next to each other, and customers will also no longer be required to remain seated while ordering or drinking at bars, restaurants, and clubs.
Again, businesses and entities overseeing indoor spaces may continue to require face masks for employees, customers and guests and social distancing will continue to be required in settings where masking is required.
You many be interested: How Instagram is helping Latina entrepreneurs survive the pandemic
Lastly, Governor Murphy announced that starting on June 4, all indoor gathering limits will be removed.
“These steps, when all added together, are the clearest signs of our commitment to carefully and deliberately reopening our state after what has been a truly crushing almost 15 month period,” Governor Murphy said.
Over the last two months, the state’s daily report of case counts, hospitalizations and deaths have all fallen considerably. These improvements came as vaccination rates rose throughout the state. As of May, about 4.8 million New Jersey residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 4.1 million are now fully vaccinated. These numbers are expected to grow in the coming weeks as we enter the summer.