In a statement sent to Lusa News Agency, AGAP said: "The gymnasiums were not only ignored in anticipation of phase 2 of the ease of lockdown, but also saw their measures aggravated by an orientation from the DGS [General Directorate of Health]", points out the association, clarifying that, on 17 August, the DGS issued a review of its Guidance No. 030/ 2020 in which it “made considerations impossible to understand and implement”.

An example of this is the cleaning of changing rooms, where DGS recommends that, after each use, lockers, hangers, showers/shower cabins and toilets must be cleaned and disinfected. “Beyond what it would represent in logistic terms, it is very difficult to justify an order of this nature. No sector lives with restrictions of this manner,” notes AGAP.

José Carlos Reis, president of AGAP, considers that the sector is forgotten but is part of the solution.

“We are incredulous at the absence of the fitness and health sector in anticipating phase 2 of ease of lockdowns. The country is advancing, and well, at an excellent pace in vaccination, the different sectors have achieved the long-awaited relief from the restrictive measures and we, who have always been part of the solution, were simply forgotten”, accuses the leader quoted in the statement.

AGAP understands that "it is urgent to understand, once and for all, the benefits of physical exercise" and recalls that gyms were among the sectors that had to invest the most to adapt to the special measures caused by the pandemic.

“PPE [individual protection equipment], the reconfiguration of spaces or partner management software are examples of this, in a year in which the sector registered losses of over 40 percent. We have great respect for national health authorities. We have always followed the guidelines that have been imposed throughout these very hard 17 months. However, it is imperative to decide on a scientific and balanced basis, so we cannot be treated in a discriminatory way and without common sense”, asks José Carlos Reis.

The rules provided for in the second phase of the government's ease of lockdown plan entered into force on 23 August, with the exception of the end of the mandatory use of masks in public spaces, whose law runs until 12 September.