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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Monday that the state will lift its indoor mask mandate and social distancing requirements in most places starting Friday.

Murphy also lifted social distancing requirements in a host of indoor venues including restaurants, retail stores, churches and gyms but it will still require face coverings on public transportation, health care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.

Businesses can decide on their own if they will continue to require face masks for employees and customers, Murphy said. 

“If you feel more comfortable wearing your face mask when shopping or waiting for your table at a restaurant, by all means, you may continue to do so,” Murphy said. “No one should mistake lifting the indoor mask mandate as meaning you cannot wear a mask indoors. You certainly may — there is nothing wrong with being cautious when it comes to your own health and that of your family and community.”

Murphy said it would be lawful if businesses choose to require customers to provide proof of vaccination.

The decision comes as New Jersey has already administered 8,389,452 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with 4,081,059 in the state fully vaccinated. New Jersey had been an early hot spot of COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic in the U.S.

Updated 7 p.m.

Tags mask mandates New Jersey Phil Murphy

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