By LOUIS C. HOCHMAN
hochman@montclairlocal.news

New Jersey will open up coronavirus vaccine eligibility to anyone at least 16 years old on April 19, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

That’s 12 days ahead of an earlier target for general availability to adults and older teens.




“We’re not suggesting that everyone who wants one has got one, but we want to continue these overlapping waves [of eligibility],” Murphy said Monday at one of his frequent coronavirus news briefings.

On Monday, the state opened up eligibility to those 55 and older, individuals 16 and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and several categories of essential workers — including those working in media, real estate, retail finance, sanitation, laundry facilities, utilities and libraries — as previously announced.

Murphy said Monday 98.7% of all New Jersey residents now live within 5 miles of sites where they can be vaccinated. He said the state aims to improve access in urban centers, to make vaccination sites no more than 15-minute walk for all residents.

Also Monday, the state updated its travel guidance, and is no longer asking fully vaccinated people to self-quarantine after domestic travel. International travelers are still required to self-quarantine.

The state still recommends those who are unvaccinated avoid travel. If they cannot, it says, travelers should consider getting tested one to three days before a trip, then three to five days afterward. If a traveler tests positive, or if testing isn’t available, he or she should self-isolate for at least 10 days and postpone further travel, the state’s guidance says. Travelers who test negative should still self-quarantine for seven days, it says.

As of Monday, 156 school systems are open for all-in-person instruction, Murphy said. Another 495 school systems are open for hybrid instruction, as Montclair public schools anticipate being soon — with elementary schools set to open for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic on April 12, and middle and high schools to open sometime in the weeks after. Forty-two districts are on some combination of systems, and 118 are all-remote, as Montclair currently is.