Governor Murphy delivered the strongest message yet on Monday that it’s time to get back to normal when he lifted many of the COVID-19 restrictions that remained in place although I wouldn’t burn my masks just yet. The biggest one is as of Friday New Jersey will no longer require people to wear masks at most indoor public places although individual businesses and offices will be allowed to establish their own criteria.  That means stores could require both customers and employees to wear masks if they want and the same for office settings.

There are of course exceptions to the lifting of the mask mandate including public transportation, some state offices, healthcare centers, child care facilities and schools.  That is one which will upset many parents who have been pleading with school officials as the weather warms up to remove the masks but they do not have the authority to do so.  One would expect by September the mask mandate will no longer be in place but it will for the remainder of this school year.

Also beginning on Friday in time for the holiday weekend is the elimination of the 6-foot social distancing requirement which is great news for restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, churches and professional sports teams who will be able to play in front of full capacity.

New Jersey, which was the first state in the country to require masks last April, will as of June 4th put an end to all indoor limits on gatherings which means everything from concerts to weddings can host as many people as they want. While the state can’t enforce it they are suggesting that those not vaccinated should pay attention to social distancing and wear masks…good luck with that.

Memorial Day Weekend is of course the unofficial start of summer at the Jersey Shore…it’s also the day we can all take a deep breath without wearing a mask.

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