3:59 p.m. ET, May 17, 2021
New Jersey will keep indoor public mask requirement, governor says
New Jersey Governor's office
New Jersey lifted its quarantine requirement for travelers from out of state, even as the state will continue requiring masks in indoor public spaces, Gov. Phil Murphy announced during a news conference Monday.
While masks are still required for indoor public spaces, Murphy said he will sign an executive order on Monday that will lift the state's mask mandate for outdoor public spaces, effective immediately.
The governor held back judgment of neighboring states like New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced
he would be following the recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance
allowing vaccinated people to unmask in some indoor settings.
"I don't know how we can expect workers to be able to tell who is vaccinated from who isn't, and it is unfair to put the burden on business owners and frontline employees to police every patron," Murphy said.
New Jersey schools will also reopen for full in-person instruction next school year, with the governor saying that he will allow his executive order allowing remote instruction under certain circumstances to expire at the end of this school year. This will effectively remove the option for full-time remote learning, according to the governor.
Murphy said that he hoped the 30-day extension of the public health emergency he signed on Friday would be its last, and would be replaced with an alternative by the state legislature.
The reopening moves come after 3,867,148 New Jerseyans have been fully vaccinated, the majority of those within the state. There were 490 new positive PCR tests, and 66 presumed positive antigen tests, Murphy reported.
There were at least 827 patients in hospitals and 13 deaths, according to Murphy.
Note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.