The CDC announced last week that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors. But because of the percentage of NJ residents that are still unvaccinated, Governor Murphy has decided to continue mandating masks indoors for everyone. But the outdoor mask requirement and travel advisory quarantine rules have both been lifted.
“The CDC guidance is clear that fully vaccinated people are much safer to engage in everyday life than unvaccinated people,” said Murphy in his press conference. “While we have made tremendous progress, we are not out of the woods yet. The majority of New Jerseyans are still unvaccinated and we’re not checking anyone’s vaccine status at the door when you go to a supermarket or hardware store, for instance. I don’t know how we can expect workers to tell who is vaccinated from who isn’t. It is unfair to put the burden on business owners and frontline employees to police every patron.”
This means if you’re heading out to a bar, restaurant, gym, mall or salon, you’ll still need to wear a mask, at least for now.
“We are going to be able to take off our masks indoors in the not too distant future as more and more people complete their vaccination courses,” Murphy continued. “We just can’t yet because we need to know unequivocally that doing so will not lead to a back slide in our progress.”
Neighboring states like Connecticut and Pennsylvania have lifted their indoor and outdoor mask restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals in most cases (except for certain CDC recommended public spaces). New York is following suit on Wednesday.
Murphy did lift the outdoor mask mandate today for public settings. While there was always guidance about social distancing and masking in outdoor places, any state mandates about masking in these outdoor spaces have been removed. So if you’re at the park or zoo or a soccer game, you can breathe a little easier without a mask.
The travel advisory for NJ has also been lifted. This means you can travel freely domestically without having to quarantine when you return to NJ which is good news for all those summer vacations coming up. Murphy advised travelers to continue to exercise common sense while traveling domestically and to follow all local health and safety protocols.
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll still have to abide by all travel advisories and guidance from those countries, as well as any additional regulations from the United States Department of State and the CDC.
There are currently 3,867,148 fully vaccinated people of the more than 8 million people in New Jersey.