NJ Transit is no longer enforcing its mask policy and has made them optional following a federal judge's decision that voided the CDC mandate.

The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa nixed the policy on all modes of public transportation including airplanes, buses and trains as well as airports and train stations.

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the new rule on Twitter.

"Masks will no longer be required on NJ Transit & by South Jersey Transportation Authority. Individuals may wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk," his tweet said.

It was a reversal of a statement Monday night from the agency that said it would wait out the appeals process and continue to enforce policy.

SEPTA announced Monday that it was no longer requiring masks despite a mandate in effect by the City of Philadelphia. PATCO and Amtrak also lifted their mask mandate.

American, Jet Blue, United, Delta and Alaska Airlines all said they will not enforce masks on planes.

PATH train at Hoboken Terminal
PATH train at Hoboken Terminal (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
loading...

Where are masks still required

Philadelphia International Airport said it would continue to enforce a mask policy citing the City of Philadelphia mandate.

The MTA told NBC 4 New York it was going to continue enforcement of the policy on New York City subways, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road citing a New York State Department of Health policy.

What about Port Authority facilities?

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said masks were still required on PATH trains and stations.

They are also required at its New York facilities including JFK, LaGuardia and Stewart International, the Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station and the World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub.

The mandate was lifted for Newark Liberty and Teterboro Airports.

State Sen. Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, who criticized Murphy for initially keeping the mandate in place, was still critical when he changed the policy.

"Do I give the governor credit for finally seeing that our constant, irrational foot-dragging on the relaxation of restrictions was bad policy that hurt our economy & our kids education & development?!? No," O'Scanlon told New Jersey 101.5 via text message.

"Just as with the elimination of mask mandate guidance nationally last spring, the governor hasn't seen the light. He's just responding to the heat! Given the unyielding history of this administration, we'd be locked down until covid zero if not for the constant pressure from those of us actually paying attention to the science."

After the ruling was announced, The White House said that the mask mandate was in not in effect "for now." The TSA said it was no longer enforcing the mandate.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We're coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we're running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

School aid for all New Jersey districts for 2022-23

The state Department of Education announced district-level school aid figures for the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, March 10, 2022. They're listed below, alphabetically by county. For additional details from the NJDOE, including specific categories of aid, click here.