The Portuguese Federation of Underwater Activities (FPAS) is urging the government to allow the return of recreational diving.
In a statement to the press, the federation describes recreational diving as an activity that has a “huge economic impact” especially in terms of tourism, one of the sectors “most affected by the coronavirus pandemic”.
“Although it is a seasonal activity, recreational diving employs around 5,000 people in Portugal who are currently under the lay-off regime. However, if activity is not resumed, they risk becoming unemployed,” the federation stresses.
According to the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ), there are around 200 companies linked to recreational diving in Portugal and around 50,000 recreational divers. Over €5 million-worth of recreational diving equipment is sold each year, 10,000 certificates are issued and over 100,000 dives are carried out.
Meanwhile, the federation participated in a joint initiative with other entities including Divers Alert Network (DAN), Professional Association of Diving Instructions (PADI), Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) to create a document with guidelines for the safe return of recreational diving.