The state delayed adopting the CDC mask guidance that allows fully vaccinated people to go without a mask in most situations, even indoors and in crowds.
Governor Phil Murphy says he wanted to make sure the policies were in place for Memorial Day weekend.
New York and Connecticut adopted the guidance nearly two weeks ago.
The governor says he was hoping to see more vaccinations before lifting the mask mandate because some cities still have less than a 50% vaccination rate.
But starting Friday you can take or leave the mask.
"If you feel more comfortable wearing your face mask when shopping or waiting for your table at a restaurant, by all means you may continue to do so," Governor Murphy said. "No one should mistake lifting the indoor mask mandate as meaning you cannot wear a mask indoors. You certainly may."
Governor Murphy stood by his delay in lifting the mask requirements, saying that unlike in other states where they've had to reverse the lifting of restrictions when infection rates increased, New Jersey has never had to go reverse any reopening decisions.
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