Murphy Signs Legislation Ending COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Governor Phil Murphy

MORRIS COUNTY — Governor Phil Murphy has signed A5820 enabling the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency that had been in place since March 9, 2020.

Immediately following the signing of the legislation, Murphy signed Executive Order No. 244 (2021), ending the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Under the legislation, the majority of executive orders issued that relied on the existence of the Public Health Emergency expire as of July 4, 2021, with exceptions specified in the legislation.

The legislation keeps the following 14 executive orders in place until January 1, 2022, though they can be modified or rescinded prior to that date by the Governor:

Because Executive Order No. 192 (2020) is not specified in the legislation as continuing beyond July 4, 2021, masking, social distancing, and other health and safety protocols originally set forth in the EO will no longer be mandatory across businesses and facilities, regardless if they are open to the public or not. Though these protocols are no longer required by the State, employers, and entities overseeing worksites and other facilities are permitted to craft more restrictive policies that require masking and social distancing, and which continue the implementation of health and safety protocols.

Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Order, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S. and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance. Masking requirements also remain in effect in certain state-regulated settings, including child care facilities, camps, long-term care facilities, other healthcare settings, homeless shelters, and prisons. These masking requirements, which are consistent with CDC guidance, are included in Executive Order No. 242 (2021), which remains in effect under Section 1(14) of P.L.2021, c.103.

The majority of State offices open to the public, including NJ Motor Vehicle Commission locations, continue to require masking of staff and visitors. Individuals should review setting-specific requirements in advance of arrival. Agency directives and guidance documents can be found at the links below:

For a copy of Executive Order No. 244, click here.