Somerville to Allow Limited Phase 3 Step 1 Businesses to Reopen 9/8
Mayor Joe Curtatone announced today that certain Phase 3 Step 1 businesses, including fitness clubs and gyms, may open -- with restrictions -- in Somerville on Tuesday, September 8. All businesses seeking to open must have a City-approved health and safety plan and meet stringent COVID-19 safety requirements. The requirements, which are designed to decrease the risk of virus transmission, include all State requirements as well as measures that exceed State standards such as mandatory face coverings for all staff and patrons at all times. The City continues to encourage and support outdoor alternatives as additional safer options for gyms and fitness centers.
Businesses eligible to open in Somerville on September 8 include:
- fitness facilities and health clubs including gyms, yoga studios, and other fitness centers;
- motion picture and television streaming productions;
- martial arts and dance facilities;
- non-athletic instructional classes (such as arts, music, language, etc., classes).
City staff will continue to work with specialty indoor recreational facilities with more unique safety challenges such as ax throwing or indoor rock climbing to consider potential openings on individual timelines. But at this time they will remain closed. Movie theaters and museums, including the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, will also remain closed until further notice.
Somerville safety requirements and enforcement that exceed State guidelines include:
- Face coverings must be worn at all times by patrons, staff, and any other individuals present. There are no exceptions beyond standard medical and disability exemptions or age exceptions for infants under age 2. State exceptions, for example, for persons at a greater distance or engaged in vigorous exercise, will not be permitted.
- To ensure state or local capacity limits are not exceeded, businesses must require patrons to register in advance for specific classes or time slots, including for open gym time.
- All businesses must submit a health and safety plan to the City, which must meet all requirements for their business category. Plans must be approved by Inspectional Services, and must be available at all times to patrons and the public. Plan templates and requirements are available at somervillema.gov/phase3reopening.
- Due to the risk of aerosol transmission of the virus, all businesses must adhere to new COVID-19 safety recommendations for air quality management issued by ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. (See pages 9 and 10 of the linked ASHRAE report.)
- Capacity must be limited to ten or fewer people including staff at any given time for martial arts and dance facilities, non-athletic instructional classes, and motion picture and television streaming productions.
- Inspectional Services will carry out spot checks and respond to complaints. City staff will support businesses in maintaining compliance, but in cases of willful disregard endangering public safety, individual closures may be ordered.
Somerville also continues to hold the limit on attendance at gatherings to stricter levels than the State with no more than 10 persons allowed until further notice. This applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings of any kind unless otherwise specifically permitted in City activity-specific guidelines.
Phase 3 Health and Human Services categories opened in Somerville according to statewide plans on July 6. Phase 3 grocery store capacity limit increases also went into effect in tandem with the State on July 17. Regulations currently in place for Somerville youth and adult league sports remain the same. Businesses seeking COVID-19 related information and resources are encouraged to visit www.somervillema.gov/covidbizhelp.
For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at www.somervillema.gov/Alerts. Community members are encouraged to sign up for every alert method: phone call, text, email. Also follow FB.com/SomervilleCity and @SomervilleCity.