Tug of War on Reopening Pools, Gyms

israel coronavirus
At a fitness club in Yerushalayim in May. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The government and the Knesset were at odds on Sunday over whether or not it is safe to re-open swimming pools and gyms while COVID-19 figures continue to be very high.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein want to keep them closed, but the Knesset’s coronavirus committee isn’t going along, according to the Kan broadcaster.

The committee chairperson, Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, said on Sunday that the government must back up its decision with data, and if it doesn’t, then they should be allowed to re-open.

Committee member MK Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beytenu) declared that “the Knesset isn’t a rubber stamp for the government…[decisions] must be made on the basis of factual data rather than hunches.”

In response, the Health Ministry has promised to disclose the details, said to indicate 35 infections confirmed in gyms between June 4 and July 10. In addition, according to Army Radio, the ministry will share data showing 170 infections at weddings, 21 in restaurants and six in bars, during the same period.