May 17, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 241 eliminating the requirement of masks in outdoor public spaces, which was established under Executive Order No. 163 (2020). The Order reaffirms the masking requirement in indoor public spaces and workplaces, but clarifies that individuals at small gatherings in private residences are not required to wear masks indoors.
“New Jersey is making incredible progress towards our vaccination goals and our COVID-19 case numbers continue to trend downwards, allowing us to eliminate the need for masks outdoors,” said Governor Murphy. “Outdoor environments pose a lesser risk of transmission of the virus than indoor settings, and lifting the indoor mask mandate at this time could lead to a rise in transmission among those not yet fully vaccinated, including children who are either not yet eligible or who have just recently become eligible. As we approach our vaccination target in the coming weeks, we expect to be able to safely lift the indoor mask requirement soon.”
The order notes that outdoor public spaces do not include child care centers, other child care facilities, youth summer camps, and public, private, and parochial preschool program premises, and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools. Current recommendations and requirements regarding masking in those settings will remain in effect.
Additionally, any masking requirements for outdoor spaces in healthcare settings and at congregate facilities, such as long-term care facilities and State correctional facilities, will remain in place.
For the full text of Executive Order No. 241, please click here.