Governor releases more specifics of his executive order on outdoor masks

ROI-NJ An N95 mask.

From the Governor’s Office: Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 163, which requires individuals to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces when it is not practicable to socially distance and keep a 6-foot distance from others.

The order, which takes effect immediately, comes with a lot of specifics:


Family: The order excludes immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners, or where the individual is under 2 years of age.

Eating/drinking: Situations where individuals cannot feasibly wear a face covering, such as when eating or drinking at outdoor dining areas.

Health: Situations when wearing a face covering would inhibit an individual’s health, including engaging in high-intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities, when in the water, and in other situations where the presence of a mask would pose a risk to the individual’s safety.

Child care/camps: Child care centers, other child care facilities and youth summer camps are not governed by this order. Those settings continue to be governed by Executive Order No. 149 and applicable standards issued by the Department of Health.


Offices: In indoor commercial spaces that are not open to members of the public, such as office buildings, those spaces must have policies that, at a minimum, require individuals to wear face coverings when in prolonged proximity to others.

Outdoor dining: For outdoor dining purposes, outdoor areas shall be defined as open air spaces that either 1) have no roof or cover, or 2) have a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50% of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed.

Sports practices/competitions: Practices and competitions for sports defined as “low risk” are permitted in both outdoor and indoor settings. No-contact practices for sports defined as “high or medium risk” are permitted to resume in outdoor and indoor settings. Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “medium risk” are permitted to resume in outdoor settings only.

Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “high risk” remain prohibited in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The sports in each category:

  • Low risk: Archery, shooting/clay target, individual running events, individual cycling events, individual swimming, individual rowing, individual diving, equestrian jumping or dressage, golf, individual sailing, weightlifting, skiing, snowboarding, tennis, individual dance, pole vault, high jump, long jump, marathon, triathlon, cross country, track and field, disc golf, badminton.
  • Medium risk: Lacrosse, hockey, multiperson rowing, multiperson kayaking, multiperson canoeing, water polo, swimming relays, fencing, cycling in a group, running in a close group, group sailing, volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball/softball, short track.
  • High risk: Rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, wrestling, pair figure skating, football, group dance, group cheer.

One more thing

The order also reiterates New Jersey’s policy of requiring face coverings in indoor spaces that are accessible to members of the public, such as retail, recreational and entertainment businesses, areas of government buildings open to the public, and mass transit buses, trains and stations, again with exceptions for health reasons and children under 2.

Read the entire executive order here.

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