All New Jersey public school students will return to school buildings in the fall full time, with no more remote learning, according to an executive order announced by Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday afternoon.
"We are facing a much different world than one year ago," Murphy said, noting that vaccinations now are permitted for children as young as 12.
The governor also underscored the state's decision, for now, to require everyone to wear a mask when in an indoor public space despite a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory that the fully vaccinated no longer need masks. The CDC also noted that state and local rules may say otherwise.
While Murphy said he is signing an executive order eliminating all mask requirements in public settings outdoors, he said the state must stick with indoor masking for now even though more and more are getting vaccinated.
"We're not checking anyone's vaccine status at the door when you go to the supermarket or to a hardware store, for instance," Murphy said. "I don't know how we can expect workers to be able to tell who is vaccinated from who isn't."
"Again, this is not forever and always," Murphy added.
As of Monday, 3,867,148 state residents had been fully vaccinated, the equivalent of about 56% of all New Jersey adults over 18.
Murphy also said the state is lifting quarantine requirements for people traveling into New Jersey.
As he knocked wood, the governor said at Monday afternoon's briefing that he also was declaring a public health emergency for another 30 days — hopefully, he said, for the last time.