TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey students returning to the classroom in the next academic year will have to wear a face covering at all times while inside the school building, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.
The governor, speaking during a coronavirus briefing, said the mandate is an update to previous guidance that only required students to wear face coverings indoors when social distancing is not possible.
There will be several exceptions to the requirement, including for certain students with disabilities, Murphy said.
Masks can be removed for lunch and snack time.
However, so-called “mask breaks,” which some schools were reported to have built into their reopening plans, allowing students to take off face coverings for a set period of time during the day will not be allowed, Murphy said.
The change in guidance comes following a call Murphy had with national education expert Dr. Darling Hammond about how to safely and responsibly reopen schools.
The governor called the discussion “productive.”
“The upcoming school year will not be a normal one, and Dr. Darling Hammond’s insight will help us ensure health, safety, and equity as we move closer to fall,” Murphy tweeted.