SAN FRANCISCO - A new program in the works in San Francisco could allow for gyms, personal trainers and other fitness providers to hold outdoor classes and one-on-one sessions in city parks, as fitness facilities remain closed due to COVID-19.
The proposed program, announced by Recreation and Park Department officials Friday, is inspired by the city's Shared Spaces program, which allows restaurants and other businesses to operate in public spaces.
Under the program, small fitness operators and personal trainers
can apply for an annual permit to train up to three clients at a time at a price reduced from $250 to just $25, as long as gyms in the city remain closed.
For group classes of between four to 11 people, instructors
requiring a designated space in the park would be able to hold classes for 10 weeks at a consistent day and time for a price reduced from $15 an hour to $1.25 an hour, recreation and park officials said.
"Like parks themselves, fitness classes promote physical health
and mental well-being, something we could all use right now. This program would allow fitness providers with closed storefronts an inexpensive way to hold classes again while allocating space in a fair and transparent way," Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement.
If approved, the program could start as soon as Sept. 13 at city
parks on lawns, plazas and basketball courts. Recreation and park department officials earlier this week sent the proposal to gym and other fitness providers.
Recreation and park officials said registering fitness providers
is necessary to avoid overcrowding and to ensure that classes don't interfere with the public and other programs currently happening at city parks like emergency child and youth care.