Hoboken Mayor Bhalla Reacts to Governor Lifting In-Door Mask Mandate

Yesterday, Governor Murphy provided the most significant steps to a reopening of New Jersey since the beginning of the pandemic. This afternoon, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla issued the following statement with regard to Murphy’s decision to lift the mandate for indoor mask wearing, among other things pertaining to the pandemic:

Bhalla stated, “Starting Friday, the indoor mask mandate and social distancing requirements will be lifted for the majority of businesses in Hoboken and throughout the State. This is an important milestone on our road towards health and safety as a community, and clears an important hurdle on our path to an economic recovery.

Since last March, our City and State have been guided by the best science and data available, and these recent steps are no different. With the substantial decline of cases locally in Hoboken, which includes just one case in the past four days, along with more residents becoming fully vaccinated, the relaxing of regulations is a welcome development.

At the same time, while the updated regulations go into effect Friday, any Hoboken establishment may continue to require face masks for employees, customers or guests. I ask residents to please abide by any request from a business to wear a face mask, especially in situations where social distancing may be difficult. While many of us are ready to shed our mask, for others, the added layer of protection is something we should respect, especially within public places.”

The Mayor went on to say, “I ask residents to please keep in mind that while the majority of adults in Hoboken have had at least one vaccine dose, for children under the age of twelve, vaccines are not yet available. It’s more than reasonable for parents or those who come in contact with our children, to continue to wear a mask to set a good example for them. I appreciate and thank parents who have done so.

Finally, for those who are not yet fully vaccinated, the CDC continues to encourage you to wear a face mask indoors when around others, especially when social distancing is not possible. This guidance is all of the more reason to get vaccinated, if you have not yet done so.”

The following are the new regulations announced by Governor Phil Murphy on Monday:

Updated regulations from the State of New Jersey:

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.
    • Per CDC guidance, masks will continue to be required in health care settings, including long-term care facilities and office-based settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation, as well as transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • Additionally, also per CDC guidance, child care centers and facilities, youth summer camps, and public, private, and parochial preschool program premises and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, are not affected by this announcement and continue to be governed by existing requirements.
    • Indoor worksites that are not open to the public remain governed by existing health and safety protocols that employers must follow.
    • Masks will continue to be required in public-facing state offices, such as Motor Vehicle Commission agencies.
  • 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.

(information above provided from Governor Murphy’s office)