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Eiffel Tower opens for business - with coronavirus restrictions

Visitors return to the Eiffel Tower on 25 June 2020 and tackle the 600-step climb
Visitors return to the Eiffel Tower on 25 June 2020 and tackle the 600-step climb AFP
2 min

The Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most emblematic monument, began welcoming tourists and locals on Thursday after a three-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But visitors will have to take the stairs.

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he first visitors were allowed in at 10am Thursday and the more energetic ones began the 600 steps up to the second floor.

The lifts will be out of bounds until 1 July, to make sure people respect the physical distancing regulations to limit the risk of infection.

For the time being, the top level of the Paris landmark is off limits to the public “since the lifts taking visitors from second to top floor are small” said the Eiffel Tower website adding that “it might reopen during the summer”.

The number of visitors per floor will be limited for the time being and everyone over the age of 11 will have to wear a face mask, said the operator.

 

Ground markings will be in place to make sure people keep their distance, with “daily cleaning and disinfection of public spaces at the tower”.

The Eiffel Tower, which marked its 130th anniversary in March last year, emerges from its longest closure since World War II in time for the busy summer tourist season.

France is one of the most visited countries in the world, with an average of seven million visitors every year.

The lockdown introduced to limit the spread of Covid-19 dealt a severe blow to the country's tourism industry, closing hotels, restaurants, museums and cinemas for three months.

The Louvre museum, another of Paris's major tourist sites, is due to reopen on 6 July, while the Palace of Versailles reopened earlier this month.

France opened its borders to other European countries on 15 June and the tourism industry is banking on foreign tourists returning in large numbers.

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