Reopening Information for Outdoor Gyms & Fitness Facilities

Fitness Facilities and Health Clubs and Youth and Adult Sports Activity Facilities eligible under the Commonwealth’s Phase 3, Step 1 Reopening Plan, can operate outside, with approval, while inside operations are still prohibited. Businesses can operate outside either on their own, or adjacent private property (i.e. your lawn, parking lot, etc.); or on a public open space with approval of the Somerville Parks and Recreation Department. Operations on public property will be offered with a reduced fee of $25 for a time period of up to four hours. Please note that you cannot operate outside––either on public or private property––until City approval is received.

To submit a request, please complete the following:  

To Operate on Public Property

  • Go to the website somervillerec.com to make a facility reservation request. You will need to create an organization account with a user name and password. 
  • On the home page, click on the link that says “Click here to make a Facility/Field Reservation Request.” 
  • Review Field Permit requirements and submit:
    • COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (view sample)
    • Socially distant layout plan for staff approval 
  • View the calendar and openings, choose your facility location, dates, and times.
  • Follow all safety protocols and guidelines, and ensure that activities are limited to a maximum of 25 participants.

To Operate on Private Property

  • Submit a COVID-19 Health an Safety Plan (view sample) and socially distant layout to the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) by email at [email protected].
  • Receive approval by email from ISD prior to operating outside. 
  • The following conditions must be met: 
    • Face coverings are required when not engaged in activities and/or when social distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Activities are limited to classes and group fitness activities. 
    • If the applicant is not the property owner, they must have permission to operate outside from the property owner.
    • Activities on private property must be located adjacent to the fitness facility (including in parking lots, green space, or other suitable outdoor space). 
    • The applicant must meet all requirements outlined in the Commonwealth's sector-specific guidance for Fitness Facilities and Health Clubs or Youth and Adult Sports Activities.
    • No more than 25 participants can be on-site at any one time, including staff. 
    • To ensure group separation, groups must be spaced at least 20 feet apart while sharing a single playing surface, court, field, or parking lot area. 
    • Social distancing of at least six feet is required when participants are not actively engaged in an activity 
    • No public access to interior spaces of the gym (including locker rooms and bathrooms) 
    • Contact sports (including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and hockey) must be limited to non-contact drills and practices. 
    • Individuals cannot congregate in common areas or in parking lots following workouts 
  • Outdoor setup requirements:
    • An outer boundary must be clearly demarcated by paint, rope barrier, fencing, wall, or other physical barrier. If the outdoor activity space is located in a parking lot, the barrier must be a vertical barrier at least 32 inches high (rope and stanchion, fencing, jersey barrier, parade barrier, etc.) 
    • A six-foot buffer must be maintained between the outer boundary and the activity area. The buffer is designed to ensure that group participants maintain proper social distance from any persons traveling past or standing near the outer boundary. 
    • The activity area where the class or group fitness activity takes place must be demarcated with paint, a rope barrier, cones, or similar barrier. 

If you have any questions on how to apply to hold outdoor fitness classes or activities, please email [email protected].