By MADDY VITALEChris Lambert, owner of Atilis gyms in Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Egg Harbor Township and Wildwood, is eager and more than prepared to reopen Tuesday, he said.Gov. Phil Murphy shut down all gyms statewide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March. Gyms have been among the last to reopen of New Jersey businesses.After being officially closed for six months, Lambert said he, his employees and most importantly, patrons are elated to reopen. As part of the governor’s coronavirus guidelines, gyms will be limited to 25 percent of their normal capacity.“I can’t wait to open my doors and welcome back our customers,” he said in an interview Friday. “I’m ecstatic to reopen and get people back in the gyms.”“Our protocol will be everything the state requires. We will have multiple signs about the gym and one of our statements will be for people to keep a safe distance. We will make sure the air doesn’t get stagnant,” Lambert noted. “Masks are required unless someone can’t wear one due to health reasons.”He continued, “Our doors will be open for more ventilation. We bought extra fans, spray bottles and hand sanitizers. We want to show people they can come to Atilis and we will do everything required and then some.”Atilis Gym in Ocean City is located at 1214 West Ave.Lambert said he is pleased that he could reopen all of his gyms, but he does not agree with how it was handled by the governor.“I am happy, but I am also frustrated,” said Lambert, a former Lower Township police officer. “At least the governor is giving us the opportunity to open again, although it should have been sooner.”Meetings between Lambert, other gym owners and the governor’s staff in May did not result in an agreement for the gyms to reopen at that time.Lambert noted that some people may not feel comfortable going to a gym to work out amid COVID-19.Over the past six months, he said, he and his team have not only met, but exceeded the CDC guidelines with strict adherence to health and safety measures.“We hired a professional steam cleaner for the turf area at the Egg Harbor Township location,” he said.Atilis Gym in Ocean City is the biggest workout facility in the resort.The Egg Harbor Township gym has 30-foot ceilings for plenty of air circulation. Its normal capacity is 388 people, but with the 25 percent capacity for coronavirus restrictions, a maximum of 97 gym members will be allowed in at any given time, Lambert explained.Under the new capacity restrictions, 40 members will be allowed to work out at the Ocean City gym at a time.Sea Isle City’s gym is smaller, but Lambert said the majority of the customers are summer residents and the season is winding down.“Right now, it won’t hurt us much because summer people are going home,” he said. “We feel comfortable that we can accommodate all the current Sea Isle members.”There are many things Lambert learned throughout the pandemic shutdown. The first was the generosity of patrons from Atlantic and Cape May counties who made it a priority, he said, to purchase vitamins, health drinks and clothing at the Atilis gyms to show support.Chris Lambert says people have purchased Atilis clothing and health drinks amid the pandemic to do what they can to help support his gyms during the shutdown.He also said he learned a bit more about the benefits to working out for some of his members.“Fitness centers are so much more than building muscles. I didn’t realize as much until the pandemic, people really need this. They want to release built-up tension, and depression and anxiety,” Lambert pointed out. “This virus is bad. We know that. Go to a gym that you are comfortable with and get a good workout.”He noted that while he is thankful to still be in business, that is not the case for other gyms due to the pandemic.He recently purchased equipment from a gym owner who had to close.“It is really hitting home in places down here,” Lambert said. “I am very lucky and very fortunate, but I also feel so bad for so many other gym owners who couldn’t stay in business.”For gym locations and more information on Atilis Gym visit: www.atilisgym.comAtilis members work out on treadmills in Egg Harbor Township prior to COVID-19. Chris Lambert is getting ready to reopen his four Atilis Gym locations after a lengthy COVID-19 shutdown of gyms statewide.
Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto de Assis are set to be released from custody in Paraguay on August 24, the date when a judge will ratify their plea bargain agreement.The ex-Brazil and Barcelona forward and Roberto were arrested in March for entering the country with false passports and spent 32 days in jail. The Ballon d’Or winner and his brother then paid $800,000 each in bail and were moved to a luxury hotel in the country’s capital, Asuncion, remaining under house arrest.They have been there ever since. Ronaldinho, 40, and his brother face up to five years in jail if convicted.The defence team recently agreed with prosecutors a guilty plea from the two brothers for entering Paraguay with fake passports and fines of $90,000 and $110,000, respectively, for Ronaldinho and Roberto.Roberto agreed to a criminal record in Paraguay, but Ronaldinho’s record will be clean there.The plea deal also stipulates that Ronaldinho can leave Brazil at any time, though he must tell Paraguayan officials how long he will be away. Roberto will not be permitted to leave Brazil for two years.The brothers must also present themselves to a federal judge in Brazil every three months during a period of two years.An investigation into possible money laundering was launched.While prosecutors have “not detected any element that proves that Ronaldinho had a direct participation in the planning of obtaining false documents,” judge Gustavo Amarilla told EFE that it was clear that the two did use a false document to enter the country.Residents of Brazil do not need passports to enter Paraguay. Ronaldinho told local authorities in a hearing that the passports were a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.While in jail, the 2002 World Cup winner was seen playing sports and having photos taken with guards.Ronaldinho admitted in April in his first interview since his arrest that he was desperate to go home.“The first thing I will do is to give my mother a big kiss,” he said. “She is at home going through a difficult time since the COVID-19 pandemic started.RelatedPosts Ronaldinho regains freedom in Paraguay Nigerians indicted in $300m ‘sweepstakes’ fraud in US, risk 40 years in jail Despite being under house arrest, Ronaldinho hosts parties with models “Then to absorb the impact that this situation has had and move forward with faith and strength.”Tags: JAILParaguayReleaseRonaldinho