New Jersey lifts capacity restrictions at most businesses; masks required indoors

 In New Jersey, you still have to wear a mask indoors, but this is still a day many business owners have been waiting for.

New Jersey is lifting capacity restrictions on most industries including restaurants, gyms, hair salons, casinos, and houses of worship.

However, the businesses still have to enforce social distancing or install barriers.

The mask mandate stays in place indoors, despite new CDC guidance that says vaccinated people don’t need to wear one.

“We are going to be able to take off our masks indoors in the not-so-distant future as more and more people complete their vaccination courses. We just can’t yet because we need to know unequivocally doing so will not lead to a backslide in our progress. Again, we have this virus on the run thanks to the millions of you out there,” Governor Phil Murphy said.

The governor defended his controversial decision earlier this week.

“We’re not checking anyone’s vaccine status at the door when you go to the supermarket or to a hardware store for instance. I don’t know how we can expect workers to be able to tell who’s vaccinated from who isn’t, and it’s unfair to put the burden on business owners and front line employees to police every patron,” Governor Murphy said.

Critics argue that he’s not following the science. They say, if you are worried about getting COVID, then you should get vaccinated.

Full-time remote learning option for families will be removed, while summer school programs will not be impacted, the governor said.

“As the number of vaccinated New Jerseyans continues to increase and with transmission reaching the lowest rate since the outset of the pandemic, we are finally reaching a place where schools are able to fully and safely reopen for in-person learning. Returning to the classroom will be critical in getting students back on the path to academic success and I applaud Governor Murphy’s decision to fully reopen our schools for the coming school year.”

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) responded to Murphy’s schools announcement.

“Remote and virtual learning became essential tools for maintaining student academic progress while keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks largely to the dedication and creativity of our educators who were forced to adapt to this new normal nearly overnight,” Lampitt said. “While our schools went above and beyond to keep students engaged through remote instruction, students and educators alike agree that there is no substitute for traditional in-person classroom instruction.”
And effective Monday, travelers to New Jersey are no longer required to quarantine as the travel advisory has been lifted.

“Continue to follow local health and safety protocols when traveling,” Murphy said. “Adhere to international travel guidance from the state department and CDC.”

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