NJ lifting indoor mask mandate, social distancing requirement starting May 28

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that he was lifting the state's indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

During a briefing on the pandemic, Murphy said he was following the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to drop the indoor mask rule beginning May 28 as COVID cases decrease and immunizations increase.

The Garden State and Hawaii were the only states that had not announced a date for lifting the mask mandate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Lifting the mask mandate is not a license to be a knucklehead," Murphy said. "Lifting the mask mandate is simply acknowledging how far we've come together and that, together, we'll cross the finish line."

Individual businesses could require employees and patrons to wear masks indoors, added Murphy.

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As per the CDC's guidance, masks will still be required on airplanes, buses, trains, other forms of public transportation, including hubs such as airports and stations. Also, anyone in a health care setting, correctional facility, homeless shelter, child care center and facility, youth summer camp, public, private, or parochial preschool program premise, elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools must also wear masks.

In New Jersey, face masks will still be required in public-facing state offices, such as the Motor Vehicles Commission and worksites that are closed to the public, including warehousing and manufacturing facilities.

Starting Friday, the six-foot social distance requirement would no longer be required. Social distancing will continue to be required in settings where masking is required.

Earlier this month, the CDC also announced that people could stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds.

Effective June 4, the state will also remove all indoor gathering limits including the 30% limit on large indoor venues with a fixed seating capacity of 1,000 or greater.