Murphy says face coverings will be required outdoors

Mike Karras/Gannett (pool) Gov. Phil Murphy at Saturday's COVID-19 briefing.

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday requiring masks to be worn outdoors.

The governor said as much while appearing this morning on MSNBC on the “Morning Joe” program.

“They’ve been strongly recommended outdoors; we’re going to turn that up a notch today,” he said.

The decision should not be a surprise. Murphy has taken pride in the fact that the state was one of the first to require masks indoors — as well as other preventive measures to fight the outbreak of COVID-19.

On Monday, when pressed about requiring masks to be worn outdoors during his daily COVID-19 briefing, he hinted strongly that such a move was coming.

“We were the first state in America to mandate masking indoors, and I’m glad we did,” he said then. “And we’re constantly assessing and reassessing the variety of the advisories and recommendations that we have out there.

“We’re looking at outside masking as we speak.”

How it will work remains a question. Will it be required among family members outdoors, or at times when social distancing is possible?

On Monday, Murphy said enforcement is a key issue.

“You want to put something in place that you believe you have a high likelihood of ability to enforce,” he said then. “This one is more challenging than some others.”

Murphy, who did not have a daily briefing Tuesday, will have one today at 1 p.m.

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