Knesset Coronavirus Committee Decides: Gyms, Tourist Attractions to Reopen

Israelis exercise at the Sky gym club of Rav Chen in Yerushalayim, on May 12.
(Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Knesset’s coronavirus committee decided Thursday that barring another government order, gyms and tourist attractions should reopen next Sunday. The committee has recommended that the government draw up strict guidelines to regulate the gyms.

The issue of gyms has been at the center of a row between the government, which wants to keep them closed, and the comitttee that has insisted on their opening due to evidence showing they are responsible for low numbers of virus infections.

At the start of the meeting, committee chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton said that she is not ready to open the gyms if later the same day the government stands to close them. The government’s coronavirus advisory committee is set to meet late Thursday. In that meeting, a countrywide lockdown is under discussion.

“The gyms cannot open and close,” Shasha-Biton said, noting that “it really bothers me that the data is vague and cannot be easily put on the table.”

The gyms will need to follow certain guidelines, such as positioning equipment two meters apart and limiting the number of people in the facility to one per every 10 meters.

Nonetheless, the committee voted to allow the gyms to operate beginning Sunday at 6 a.m. At the same time, the committee voted to open tourist attractions across the country, operating under the Health Ministry’s guidelines.


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