We’re In It Together: Health and Safety Reopening Guide

FAQ: Reopening Guide

Public health guidelines for gyms and fitness center reopening in Massachusetts are still in process. Everything in this FAQ is subject to change without notice.  Please understand that we will do our best to communicate changes.  It is suggested that you join our Facebook pages for on-going information.

Membership and Visiting the YMCA

How do I reactivate my membership?
Simply use the contact form on our website to send us an email or call.

What if I need help or have questions about my account?
Branch Welcome Centers will only be available for a limited number of transactions to expedite lines and reduce the number of people in the entranceway.  Use our customer service portal (https://www.ymcametronorth.org/contact/) or Emails: info@metronorthymca.org

How long is my membership on hold?

  • Memberships placed on hold during the COVID-19 emergency will be automatically reactivated on August 31 for membership drafts on September 1st and on September 14th for membership drafts on September 15th
  • If you decide to come back early, we recommend activating your membership and signing the required Waiver/Code of Conduct in advance of your visit. This will eliminate the need to stand in line at the Welcome Center desk. Contact us to Activate Your Membership.

What do I need to know before visiting the Y?

  • Activate Your Membership: You will need an active membership to the YMCA of Metro North to access the facilities. If your membership is on hold or canceled, please use the Member Services Form to request your membership activation.
  • New Code of Conduct and Waiver: Log In to your online account and sign our new Waiver and Code of Conduct before entering the YMCA. You can also sign when you scan in at the Welcome Center.
  • Building occupancy will be limited per public health officials. You may be asked to wait before entering the building. Members will be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Social Distancing must be practiced to the best of your ability while at the YMCA.
  • We strongly encourage the use of face masks and personal protection equipment when you visit the Y.
  • We do not yet know if we will need to check temperatures, as guidelines from the state are forthcoming.


Group Exercise Class Updates

Will group exercise classes be offered and how will they work? We intend to offer socially distanced fitness classes both indoors and outdoors.  While we await final guidelines for class spacing, we plan to reduce the capacity of our classes to allow for 8.5ft apart from each participant. Members will have to reserve a spot online before coming to any group exercise class. Reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance.

Will any classes be held outside?
Yes, classes such as Zumba, tabata, yoga, and insanity will have the option to be held outside, weather permitting.

Will you have to make an appointment to use the Y?
You will have to reserve your spot for group classes and pool lanes online. Upon reopening our ability to answer phones may be limited, we highly recommend signing up online for all classes, pool lanes, and paid programming in advance.

How many people will be allowed in a studio for classes?
While we are still awaiting guidelines for spacing in classes we have begun to mark our studios with an 8.5ft buffer.  That means for cycling there will be 18 bikes, classes in the fitness studio will have 18 spots and the mindbody studio will have 14 spots.

Will the Y continue to provide online/virtual content?
Yes!  We plan to keep updating our YouTube page with new workouts and classes. We will also live stream select classes so that members who choose to stay home can still participate in their favorite class.

What classes are available for seniors?
Classes such as Chair Yoga, Enhance, Stay Fit and Water Aerobics will be offered with participants spaced at a minimum of 6ft apart. Capacity will be limited to ensure social distancing.

How are we going to social distance and disinfect equipment in Cycle and TRX?
Cycling capacity has been reduced to 18 participants with bikes spaced 8.5ft apart. TRX will have the same spacing and a reduction in capacity.  Members will be asked to share the responsibility of disinfecting equipment before and after use.  A buffer of at least 30 minutes will be in effect so that staff can disinfect the equipment and room between classes.

Aquatics Updates

How will capacity for the indoor pool change?
Capacity will be set to 8 people initially, since we will require registration for a pool lane before coming to swim.  Social distancing markers have been placed on the floor to ensure distancing when not swimming.  In the beginning only one swimmer will be allowed in per lane.

How will you maintain sanitary conditions/social distancing in the pool area?
Most areas, including the locker rooms and pool deck, will have markers every 6ft indicating where someone should stand. Pool lanes will initially be limited to one person per lane.  Door handles will be disinfected routinely. Pool equipment will have a “dirty” bin and “sanitized” bin.  Y staff will sanitize equipment and place them in the sanitized bin/area. Hand sanitizer will be placed close to all entry ways.

How do I reserve a pool lane?
You will be able to reserve your spot online before using the pool. Reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance on our website.

Will the outdoor pool be open this summer?
At this time we do not yet know whether or not the outdoor pool will be open to members this summer.

What will happen with kid’s swim lessons?
As America’s Swim Instructor, we are still committed to ensuring water safety for children in our community.  We have been given guidelines to follow regarding swim lessons for children. We are currently working on a schedule and curriculum for these swim classes.

Fitness Floor Updates

How will you be ensuring social distancing and proper use of masks on the fitness floor and in the locker rooms?
We are still awaiting guidelines regarding masks. If the state or city requires masks then all members and staff will have to wear them properly. This will be monitored closely by directors and support staff in the building.  ALL members must sign off on a new waiver and code of conduct.  Members who cannot follow new guidelines will be asked to leave the Y. In the beginning, locker rooms will only be available to those who are swimming.  We will limit the amount of lockers and showers in order to help members to social distance.

How will equipment be cleaned in between uses?
Fitness floor staff will have bright green shirts on so that they are easily recognizable.  Staff will be constantly disinfecting equipment and stocking hand sanitizer and wipes. Facility staff and directors will aid in this disinfecting seven days a week.  We will also require members to share in the responsibility of maintaining a healthy environment.  Members will have to wipe down equipment before and after each use, wash hands before and after their workouts, wear masks in common areas like the lobby and bring their own equipment such as towels, mats and yoga blocks/straps.

Will personal training areas be dedicated to training only?
We have designated a studio for personal training and paid programming. While the studio is in use by personal trainers, members will not be allowed into the studio.

What about small group training?
Small group training will happen either outside or in our new Studio Y personal training and paid programming studio. Inside training groups will be capped at 4 participants.

Will people be held accountable for wiping down their equipment?
Yes.  Members will have to sign off on a new code of conduct. Members who cannot adhere to this new code of conduct will be asked to leave the Y.

Youth Sports Updates

Will there be children’s athletic programs upon reopening?
We are working on the curriculum and schedule for classes that can include social distancing. Kids will be required to have their own equipment for classes.  In the beginning sports classes will be skill based.

Will the gymnasium be open for basketball and open gym?Initially the gym will not be open for basketball. There will be no open gym until health guidelines allow for open basketball. 



What Amenities/Areas are Available?

  • Fitness Floor: Cardio and Strength Equipment (spaced apart for social distancing)
  • Group Exercise
    • Capacity will be limited for social distancing.
    • Advance reservations are required for group ex classes.
    • Click here to find group ex schedules and reserve your spot.
  • Indoor Pools
    • Reserved lane use only. One adult per lane.
    • Lane reservations must be made in advance.
    • Click here to reserve your lane now.
  • Indoor walking/running tracks are available at this time.

What Amenities/Areas are Closed?

  • Child Watch for limited hours. Check your branch to see hours and booking.
  • Gymnasiums are not open for group sports. Can be reserved for family time.
  • Whirlpools, saunas, and steam rooms are closed.
  • Youth programs and other paid programs are up and running.
  • Birthday parties and other occasions can be booked with restrictions.
  • Locker room capacity is severely limited except for pool changing stations.
  • No towel service, please bring a towel.
  • Bring a water bottle, fountains have been replaced with water filling stations.


What Should I Bring with Me?

  • Please bring a mask, a workout towel, and a water bottle.
  • Per CDC recommendations, members must wear masks when entering and exiting the building and when they cannot be 14-feet apart from another person.
  • Towel service is no longer available at this time.
  • Water fountains are replaced with fillable water stations.
  • Come ready to workout: Locker room capacity is severely limited except for pool changing stations.

Can I Bring my Child to the Y?

  • Child Watch has limited times at Melrose and Peabody branches only. Families may reserve times for “Family Fun Zones in the basketball courts, pool, and fitness floor.
  • Y Academy childcare and options for remote learners are now available at many Y locations. Click here for details and to register.