Failure to wear a mask in NJ stores could soon cost you between $50-$500 in fines

With ongoing debates over wearing masks leading to many Americans refusing to wear one in public during the COVID-19 pandemic, Assembly Democrats Ralph Caputo, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joe Danielsen and Annette Quijano sponsor a bill that would penalize customers who enter stores without a mask in an effort to increase mask usage in New Jersey. The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Under the bill (A-4453), an individual could be fined anywhere from $50 to $500 for entering or remaining in a New Jersey store without properly wearing a mask that covers both their nose and mouth if the store has signage indicating a mask requirement. The bill’s stipulations would remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency and state of emergency declared in Executive Order No. 103.

“Far too many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been needlessly and dangerously politicized,” said Assemblyman Caputo (D-Essex). “We need to look at the facts based on what we know right now, which is that wearing a mask around other people – especially indoors – significantly reduces the spread of this deadly virus. That means this is truly a matter of life and death, which we cannot take lightly. Although many residents have been following the Governor’s mask mandate, those who aren’t put us all at risk. There needs to be some sort of penalty to drive home the point that this mandate is not optional. One way or another, we’re all in this pandemic together, and must all do our part to prevent the spread of this virus.”

Mounting evidence from previous and continued research shows the efficacy of wearing a mask in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even been cited as saying he believes the pandemic could be brought under control in a matter of one to two months if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.”

“We know what it takes to reduce the transmission of COVID-19: wearing face coverings in public and maintaining a safe distance from others when possible,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “As New Jersey continues to enter into our ‘new normal’ we must ensure that we are doing all that we can to keep our communities safe on the road back. Wearing a mask in stores is critical to keeping our business owners, their staff and customers safe. Wearing a mask is a show of respect for the health of others around you as well as the sacrifices that have been made during this difficult time. I believe that this legislation is an important step in ensuring that New Jersey continues on the right track towards recovery.”

Although 75 percent of Americans support face mask requirements in public, more than 15 percent rarely or never wear a mask outside their homes.

“Our state simply cannot allow people to continue to flout the rules in public spaces,” said Assemblyman Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset). “By ignoring mask mandates and strolling into a store without one, these individuals are willfully putting lives at risk. Other people have a right to go to work or patronize a business without fearing for their health because someone else chooses to ignore the danger of their actions. These mask requirements are in place for a reason.”

“Someone entering a business establishment and deciding the mask requirement does not apply to them places other people in harm’s way, which is why that behavior won’t be tolerated,” said Assemblywoman Quijano (D-Union). “There has been enough information and messaging around masks that everyone should know by now why they are so important. If someone is strongly opposed to the idea of a mask, there are other options, such as getting curbside pickup or online deliveries.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.


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There are 24 Comments to "Failure to wear a mask in NJ stores could soon cost you between $50-$500 in fines"

  • getting crazier says:

    Is this legal?

  • what research? says:

    Anyone know where the research that proves that masks help can be found?

    • write a comment says:

      WHen you have finished Shas and Poskim, you will have time for that. Meanwhile, leave the research to those who have no connection to Shas and Poskim.
      It will more a productive use of your time..

  • FYI says:

    I am an anti-masker

  • Go Trump says:

    It’s not constitutional!!

  • This is nuts says:

    The state is broke in more ways then one.

  • I. Bin says:

    Covid-19 is now said to be spreading quickly through Lakewood now.
    Why haven’t the Rabbonim put out bulletin asking everyone not to go their parents for Yom Tov?

  • LkwdGuy says:

    The constitution is above his paygrade

  • resident says:

    Why do people who have proven anti-bodies which is most of Lakewood have to wear a mask? This makes no sense. It obviously is political. If I have no chance of spreading or catching covid, and can prove it with documents to attest to it, then the only reason I would be forced to wear a mask is politics, politics, politics

    • Chacham says:

      People have to wear masks because it is now a matter of derech eretz and showing that you care about other people. Flouting the mask requirement is boorish and causes a massive Chilul H-shem.That is why you should wear it. And hopefully, the hishtadlus will stand you in good stead and keep you and your loved ones safe and the reputation for Lakewood residents caring about others intact.

    • I. Bin says:

      Those with anti-bodies are required to wear masks because each person looks at the next one and if he sees this other fellow not wearing a mask he won’t either. It’s simple human nature.

      It’s not a total waste.The mask also prevents the spread of the flu and other illnesses and colds.

    • avraham says:

      I heard that it is possible that a person maybe at one point had anti-bodies, however, 2 months later, some of those anti-bodies disappear.

    • roger says:

      the biggest proof that you’re right is only demonrats are behind this archaic new law!

    • S209 says:

      Just to be clear, you have proof that one is protected from COVID-19 6 months after infection? Please share your amazing discovery!! The scientific world awaits your discovery. Certainly you have some type of proof, at the very least anecdotal. It would be great if infection from this coronavirus protects you better than the flu, other coronaviruses, and most other illnesses! From your mouth to Hashem’s ears!

  • TheConsultant says:

    It is all about government control of our lives, this is why these same democrats are trying to ban plastic bags and straws. Vote all democrats out of office.

  • Zero antibody mask wearer cuz who REALLY knows? says:

    People went to their parents during phase 1 so why would they listen now? People only listen to the Dr or rabbanim when it works for them. People are “done” with Corona rules.

  • AB says:

    Yes it is constitutional, the same way you can get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt, speeding or drinking when driving etc etc etc
    So many writers have written in to the Lakewoodscoop about the efficacy of masks imploring you to email them for the sources and research on masks. Please do so.
    No one is asking you for your “antibody documents”. Antibodies, wane, reinfection is possible and the only way this will work is if everyone is respectful and wears a mask. This is not cruel and unusual punishment. It’s basic decency and derech eretz.

  • ready for this says:

    This is a money maker for Democrats. I am surprised it took this long for them to implement it.
    Again the budget will be balanced on the backs of the working middle class

    We most stop the madness VOTE REPUBLICAN!

  • Chaim says:

    Welcome to the USSR. If the masks are so great why does one need quarantine after exposure to the virus while wearing a mask?

  • Ofakim says:

    We don’t know how long antibodies last with this virus. It could be 1 month 3 months or longer. Once the antibodies are gone there’s a chance with reinfection with this strain or 1 of 19 mutated strains. And even if one gets it and not affected so much he could pass it on. You can verify this with R Aaron Glatt head of mt Sinai communicable diseases or center for disease control. In addition all gedolei poskim including r chain Kanevsky r asher Weiss r Mustafi r yosef klausenberger Rebbes rGershon edelstein stoliner gerrer rebbes r sturnbruch say you still must continue to wear and must listen to the health authorities

  • Hi says:

    Its been proven that even those who lost their antibodies, the body has different immunological protection that protects against this virus as it does with other viruses as well. Antibodies is not the only indication of protection. Google it, not letting me paste links.
    Asher yaatzar es hadam bchochmah!!

  • Ofakim says:

    Even losing antibodies there is still some protection from memory cells. But it’s not absolute and we don’t know how much. With all viruses one can get reinfected as noted biologist dr Ghandi has stated. This is a medical fact.and reinfection has occurred in honk kong from mutant strains and elsewhere . Its now popping up all over the world. In addition it can remain dormant with aftereffects even if tests show no virus and hundreds of thousands continue to battle symptoms after a clean bill of health. We don’t know if they can still pass anything on as it remains dormant. Asymptomatic corona people comprise 20 percent and 40 percent have no antibodies. They are the mega spreaders.How long can these people infect is not known Epstein Barr virus never goes away even with antibodies and comes back when the body is under stress. And it can still be passed on over time . Hundreds in Lakewood have experienced this. We do not pasken from Google and one can always find conflicting opinions. We pasken in halacha according to to rophe munchim.and the gedolim ha dor who command us what to do. It is sheer gaava to Google corona and decide on one’s own what to do in this epidemic. Rophe mumchim means Sinai disease dept and state and local health authorities.In addition.there is Dina dmalcuso Dina where a Jew has to obey the law even if he knows better plus chillul hashem when the goyim say the jews think there better than everyone else and don’t need to follow health authorities.

  • Apikorsim & Rodefim says:

    You don’t want to follow the G’dolim? Mazal Tov. My boy just got very sick. Thank you. Shana Tova. I saw unmarked cars filming our grocery stores’ entrances and exits. This is going to be bad news.

  • Ofakim says:

    In addition noted doctor dr s ditched with 35 years experience has noted 2 of his patients had corona got a clean bill of health from state authorities not rite aid had so many antibodies they donated plasma with their blood and antibodies. They were monitored for 7 weeks and were fine. They went to a large simcha and got sick again and tested positive again. His family member who also donated with a clean bill of health from authorities caught it from him. What happened. to the antibodies? What about the t memory cells that didn’t protect a th know it all’s claim.