NJ mask mandate: What you need to know

The latest guidance from the CDC gives state officials the freedom to interpret and implement the regulations as desired
Credit: www.nj.gov
Gov. Phil Murphy announcing that the COVID-19 indoor-mask mandate remains in effect at his coronavirus briefing Monday, May 17.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that he planned to sign an executive order eliminating the outdoor mask mandate in public settings, regardless if someone is vaccinated or not. The state originally required masks to be worn outdoors if social distancing was not possible. The indoor mask mandate remains for restaurants, stores, gyms, and the like.

The governor made these changes after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidance for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“While we have made tremendous progress, we aren’t out of the woods yet,” he said, explaining why he was not suspending the indoor-mask mandate. “The majority of New Jerseyans are still unvaccinated, and we’re not checking anyone’s vaccine status at the door when you go to the supermarket or the hardware store,” Murphy said at his biweekly coronavirus press briefing.

The CDC says those who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors. But federal, state and local guidance may still require them, as Murphy has chosen to do indoors.

Along with the new recommendations, the CDC shared examples of activities that are safe for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

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