In an effort to fully reopen the state in stages, Governor Murphy announced today that the indoor mask mandate would be lifted starting on Friday, May 28th. Additionally, ahead of Memorial Day weekend,  the requirement for maintaining social distancing in all indoor and outdoor settings will be be lifted, dance floors can reopen and bars can operate normally.

“We’ve always targeted Memorial Day as when we hoped we’d be able to take our strongest steps on the path back to a fully opened New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy in his press conference Monday. “Effective Friday, May 28, the statewide indoor mask mandate will be lifted. Individual businesses and other entities which oversee indoor spaces may continue to require that employees and customers or guests wear face masks.”

In compliance with CDC guidelines, masking will continue to be required in:

  • Healthcare settings and long-term care facilities
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • On an airplane, bus or train or other forms of public transit
  • In airports, bus and train stations and another transit hubs
  • Public-facing state offices such as Motor Vehicle Commission agencies
  • Worksites that are closed to the public, including warehousing and manufacturing facilities

This change will not extend to:

  • Childcare centers and facilities
  • Youth summer camps
  • Public, private or parochial preschool program premises and elementary & secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools

Murphy reminded everyone that existing masking requirements will be maintained in these cases, especially since children under the age of 12 are currently not eligible to be vaccinated, and that the 12-15 cohort has only been eligible for less than two weeks, and are not yet fully vaccinated.

“If you are not vaccinated, we encourage you to follow the CDC guidance to wear a face mask in any indoor public setting,” added Murphy. “We won’t have law enforcement checking people’s vaccination status, but we are asking people to be responsible and to do the right thing, for your own safety and the safety of your community.”

Murphy also encouraged those who would like to continue wearing masks for their own comfort to continue to do so, and reminded businesses and residents that bullying or not serving people wearing masks would not be tolerated.

Also on Friday, the state will be lifting the requirement for maintaining six feet of social distancing in all indoor and outdoor settings. Businesses can continue to required social distancing should they choose, but everything from wedding halls to personal care businesses to gym will be allowed to operate at their full capacity without restrictions of social distancing.

Dance floors at bars and restaurants may reopen on Friday as well. The requirement that individuals remain seated while ordering and eating/drinking will be lifted at bars and restaurants, meaning you can order a drink and stand at a bar and drink, and nightclubs will be able to operate.

A few more of the remaining restrictions will be removed on June 4. On that date, all indoor gathering limits will be removed and the 30% limit on large indoor venues with a fixed seating capacity of 1,000+ will also be lifted. This means that theaters and other indoor venues will be able to fully operate.