Their interventions came after she announced her latest review of her lockdown exit plan for Scotland, which will see bingo halls, casinos and funfairs reopen on Aug 24.
Snooker and pool halls, bowling alleys and driving lessons can also resume on that date, but indoor gyms and swimming pools were only provided with an “indicative” date of Sept 14.
Similarly, indoor child soft play areas, indoor sports courts, theatres and live music venues other than nightclubs will be allowed to reopen until the middle of September, and be subject to social distancing.
Ms Sturgeon urged caution, telling MSPs that despite low transmission levels she was concerned by a rise in cases “around the world and across Europe, and even in England,” before warning that Scotland could face a second wave.
She said she wanted gyms and swimming pools to reopen “as quickly as possible” but she had clinical advice that they “pose a particular risk and require a cautious approach.”
Providing a provisional reopening date of Sept 14, she said she would review this in three weeks and if possible “accelerate” this to the end of August.
But Mr Bannantyne poured scorn on the notion it was unsafe to have 50 people in a 30,000sq ft building with modern ventilation and wrist band technology to ensure members do not have to touch hard services such as doors.
He said: “It’s unbelievable. There has to be another agenda. I don’t believe she has advice saying stadiums and bowling alleys are safer than gyms.”
Asked about her “hidden agenda”, he said: “Independence is king. ‘We don’t care about anything as long as we get independence.'”
Dr Liz Cameron, the SCC’s chief executive, said it was “imperative” that offices and gyms ” have a clear and earlier date of return given the important role they play for our city and town economies.”
Tracy Black, CBI Scotland director, said Ms Sturgeon’s “no earlier than Sept 14” statement “creates confusion for many businesses” and called for a firm date.