חיטוי מתקן בחדר כושר
An Israeli gym being disinfected during the coronavirus crisis
An protester joins the demonstration outside Health Minister Yuli Edelstein's Herzliya home over the closure of gyms

Gyms reopen under Knesset committee ruling that defied government

Panel of lawmakers overrode cabinet decision to shutter establishments, citing low infections rates in such locations; unclear if new law granting cabinet final say on reopenings will impact on gyms following previous row between MKs and ministers

Ynet, i24NEWS |
Published: 07.26.20 , 12:23

Gyms reopened in Israel on Sunday morning following a decision by the coronavirus panel in the Knesset, which defied a government directive to keep them closed.
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  • Most sports facilities were ordered shut on July 17 following a government vote on a package of measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
    הפגנה של ענף הכושר מול ביתו של יולי אדלשטיין כנגד ההחלטה לסגור את חדרי הכושרהפגנה של ענף הכושר מול ביתו של יולי אדלשטיין כנגד ההחלטה לסגור את חדרי הכושר
    An protester joins the demonstration outside Health Minister Yuli Edelstein's Herzliya home over the closure of gyms
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    However, on Thursday, the Knesset panel, which oversees the country's coronavirus response, voted to strike this restriction down.
    The issue of gyms has been at the center of the row between the government and the Knesset committee that insisted on their opening due to evidence showing they are responsible for low numbers of virus infections.
    Head of the Knesset committee, Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, said the decision to delay the reopening until Sunday was intended to give lawmakers time to formulate an outline that would allow the reopening to happen in a manner that wouldn't be detrimental to public health.
    חיטוי מתקן בחדר כושרחיטוי מתקן בחדר כושר
    An Israeli gym being disinfected during the coronavirus crisis
    The row of authority to open gyms prompted the government to push through the so-called coronavirus law last week, curbing MKs' oversight and expanding its own emergency powers. It is yet unclear how this new law will impact on the status of the gyms.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to oust Shasha-Biton as committee chair for insubordination after she backed the reopening of gyms last week, overriding the government decision. The government voted to close the gyms once again later that week.
    Earlier in July, the panel also voted to keep gyms and swimming pools open in the country despite a surge in new infections.

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