Department of Agriculture | Governor Murphy Lifts Major COVID-19 Restrictions, Moves Forward with Reopening Steps skip to main content skip to main navigation

Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 242, lifting major COVID-19 restrictions and moving forward with the state’s most significant reopening steps to date. Effective on Friday, May 28, the indoor mask mandate in public spaces will be lifted, as well as the six-foot social distancing requirement in both indoor and outdoor spaces, the prohibition on dance floors at bars and restaurants, and the prohibition on ordering and eating/drinking while standing at bars and restaurants. Additionally, effective Friday, June 4, indoor gathering and capacity limits will be lifted. 

Over the last two weeks, key COVID-19 benchmarks have been achieved across New Jersey, including a dramatic increase in vaccinations, and significant decreases in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, spot positivity rates, and rates of transmission, solidifying the foundation for the state’s sweeping reopening steps. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, individuals who are not fully vaccinated -- defined as two weeks after receiving the second shot of a two-dose vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccination (Johnson & Johnson) – are strongly encouraged to continue masking and social distancing.  

The following changes will go into effect on Friday, May 28:

  • Lifting the mask mandate in indoor public spaces
    • Businesses and entities overseeing indoor spaces will continue to have the ability to require masking for employees, customers, and/or guests. 
  • Lifting the six-foot social distancing requirement
    • The requirement will be lifted in businesses, including retail stores, personal care services, gyms, recreational and entertainment businesses, and casinos, and indoor gatherings, including religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals, memorial services, commercial gatherings, catered events, sports competitions, and performances.
    • Businesses and entities overseeing indoor spaces can continue to require social distancing should they choose.
  • Lifting prohibition on dance floors at bars and restaurants. The prohibition on ordering and eating/drinking while standing at bars and restaurants will also be lifted.

The following changes will go into effect Friday, June 4:

  • Removing the general indoor gathering limit, which is currently at 50 people.
  • Removing the indoor gathering limit for political gatherings, weddings, funerals, memorial services, performances, and other catered and commercial events, which is currently at 250 people.
  • Removing 30 percent capacity limitation for indoor large venues with a fixed-seating capacity over 1,000. 

For the full text of Executive Order No. 242, click here.