Tel Aviv: Israel’s parliamentary select committee on the novel coronavirus has decided to reverse the government’s decision to close public swimming pools and gyms across the country.
On July 6, Israeli cabinet reimposed several restrictions to combat a rapid surge of coronavirus cases, deciding to immediately close gyms and public pools, as well as bars, night clubs, and event halls, reports Xinhua news agency.
The decision concerning the pools was controversial, as it did not include hotel swimming pools, which have remained open and become more crowded.
Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch, who opposed the reopening of pools and gyms, said at the committee’s meeting on Monday that “the purpose of the restriction is to prevent actions that endanger public health, and to prevent a full closure”.
“In pools, hundreds of people gather in one place.”
He added that the ministry planned to close hotel pools as well, but the Finance Mministry claimed that it would be the end of the hotel industry in the country.
Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar said that after the coronavirus committee’s decision to reopen public pools and gyms, Yifat Shasha-Biton, the committee’s chairman, would be replaced.
Israel has so far reported 40,632 COVID-19 cases, with 365 deaths.