Eiffel Tower reopens amid strict restrictions

The Paris emblem, the Eiffel Tower, re-opened on Thursday for visits but with strict restrictions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Until 1 July, the landmark will be accessible only by stairs in order a safe distance between people to be ensured to limit infection risks. The landmark will emerge from its longest closure since World War II in time for the summer season, but with limited visitor numbers at first, and with mandatory face masks for all over the age of 11.

The first visitors were allowed in on 10:00 AM, a symbolic moment as France begins to tentatively open up to tourism after the virus shutdown. Eager tourists have been able to grab their tickets since 18 June, when the online ticket office opened.

“To ensure that ascending and descending visitors do not meet in the stairs, ascent will take place from the East pillar and descent by the West pillar," said the operator, with a limited number of visitors per floor at a time. The top level will remain closed for now, "since the lifts taking visitors from second to top floor are small. It might reopen during the summer." The statement 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, completed in 1889, receives about seven million visitors every year, around three-quarters of them from abroad, according to the tower website.

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