PARIS: The Eiffel Tower has reopened after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic allowing Parisians to once again visit and admire the view of the French capital.
Visitors to the famous monument will have to take the stairs and are not allowed to use the elevators until July 1 to ensure a safe distance between people to limit infection risk. The top of the iconic monument will remain off-limits to the public for now.
The landmark will emerge from its longest closure since World War II in time for the summer season, but with limited visitor numbers and mandatory face masks for all over the age of 11.
The reopening is a symbolic moment as France begins to tentatively open up to tourism after the virus shutdown. Many tourists have been able to grab their tickets since June 18, when the online ticket office opened.
The Eiffel Tower website released a statement regarding the re-opening with a limited number of visitors per floor at a time. It said ground markings will be put in place to ensure people keep their distance from one another, with daily cleaning and disinfection of public spaces at the tower.
The monument receives about seven million visitors every year, around three-quarters of them from abroad. France is one of the world’s most visited countries and its tourism industry has taken a hard hit under a lockdown to halt the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels, restaurants, museums, and theatres closed for three months.
This includes some of the most famous landmarks such as the Louvre museum, due to reopen on July 6, and the Palace of Versailles, which reopened earlier this month.
France lifted restrictions at European borders as of June 15, and the tourism industry hopes that foreign visitors will start pouring in again as the summer season commences.