Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order 242, removing many of the state’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions. This Executive Order recognizes the marked progress New Jersey has made in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the declining number of COVID-19 cases and the percentage of State residents who are fully or partially vaccinated.  These changes will take effect in two phases:

Effective May 28

  • Statewide indoor mask mandate for public spaces will be lifted
  • Six feet social distancing requirements will be eliminated
  • Dance floors at bars and restaurants may reopen

Effective June 4

  • The current 50 person limit on general indoor gatherings will be lifted
  • The current 250 person limit on large indoor gatherings, like weddings, performances, political gatherings, and other commercial events, will be lifted
  • The current 30% capacity limit for large, indoor venues with a fixed-seating capacity over 1,000, will be lifted

As written, the new rules do not apply to indoor worksites that are not open to the public, including manufacturing businesses. However, on May 26, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 243 to clarify this apparent contradiction. Under that Executive Order, beginning June 4, employers may allow employees who can verify that they are vaccinated to forego masking and social distancing requirements within an office space. Additionally, the Executive Order will rescind the telework requirement for all who can do so and reduce on-site staffing to the minimum necessary, which were instituted under the first stay at home order.