Israel’s Knesset coronavirus committee on Tuesday voted to cancel a government regulation barring dine-in restaurant service. As a result, restaurants will be allowed to operate with up to 20 customers seated inside and up to 30 outside.

Committee chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton supported the decision, while coalition chairman Miki Zohar (Likud) criticized it as politically motivated, saying Sasha-Biton had “fallen into a trap.”

The government had offered restaurateurs a “reasonable compromise” that would allow them to keep their businesses open, said Zohar, and in turning it down, Shasha-Biton had “fallen into the trap set for her by the opposition, which is willing to endanger the public’s health to bring down the government.”

Under the compromise proposal, put forward by Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and struck down on Monday, outdoor dine-in service would have been allowed for up to 50 people at a time.

Israeli Restaurants Association CEO Shai Berman said that “canceling the order to close restaurants is a necessary step in light of the government’s delusional decisions. We want to thank committee chairwoman Yifat Shasha-Biton, who voted according to her conscience and not according to the unrealistic dictates of the government, and for the health and economic security of the citizens of Israel.”

A total of 1,855 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Israel over the past 24 hours by the 27,290 coronavirus tests carried out in the same period, bringing the total figure since the start of the pandemic to 52,687, according to Israel’s Health Ministry. To date, 422 people in Israel have died of the disease.

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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