Mayor Joe Curtatone announced today that certain Phase 3 Step 1 businesses, including fitness clubs and gyms, may once again open in Somerville on Monday, February 1, the same day that related rollbacks will end in Boston, and one week after early closing requirements were lifted statewide by Governor Baker.
Businesses impacted by recent activity rollbacks and restrictions on operating hours may also revert to Somerville pre-rollback operating hours, which allow outdoor seating until 11:30 p.m.
“This statewide and local easing of restrictions is informed by declining case and hospitalization rates in the Commonwealth and region,” said Doug Kress, Director of Health and Human Services. “The COVID-19 threat however remains concerning. All community members are still urged to keep sticking with the safety measures. Always wear a face mask, made of two or more layers, when in public over both your nose and mouth. Stay at least 6 feet away from others. Don’t share your air: avoid crowded indoor spaces, and always wash or sanitize your hands often, don’t touch your face, and if you feel unwell, stay home and ask your healthcare provider if you should be tested for COVID-19.”
As noted in the order being issued by the Mayor and the Board of Health, all businesses seeking to open must have a City-compliant 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 requirements in the State’s COVID-19 Order #59 as well as measures that exceed those standards noted in an Appendix to the order. Weather permitting, the City continues to encourage and support outdoor alternatives as additional safer options for gyms and fitness centers.
The return to Somerville’s Limited Phase 3 Step 1 status will remain in effect until further notice.
Businesses eligible to reopen in Somerville on February 1 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).
Indoor recreational facilities with City approved health and safety plans, which include business-specific occupancy thresholds and other restrictions, will be allowed to reopen under those plans. Movie theaters will remain closed until further notice.
Somerville safety requirements and enforcement that exceed State guidelines include:
To ensure 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 minimum 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 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 10 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 and endangerment of public safety, individual closures may be ordered.
Stricter local gathering limits remain in place: No more than 10 inside or outside
Somerville also continues to hold the limit on attendance at gatherings to stricter levels than the Commonwealth with no more than 10 persons allowed indoors or outdoors until further notice. Again, this applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings of any kind unless otherwise specifically permitted in City activity-specific guidelines.
Additional opening and restriction reminders
Phase 3 Health and Human Services categories opened in Somerville according to statewide plans on July 6. Capacity limits on all noted business sectors are reduced to 25% in Somerville, per Governor Baker’s Order #62, dated January 21, 2021. 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 http://www.somervillema.gov/covidbizhelp.
For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at http://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.