Eiffel Tower to finally reopen after record Covid-enforced closure

Number of visitors have been limited to 13,000 per day

Shweta Sharma
Friday 16 July 2021 15:22 BST

Eiffel Tower to reopen after record Covid-enforced closure

The iconic Eiffel Tower will welcome visitors again from Friday, after its longest-ever closure since the second World War, as France announced new anti-Covid measures.

The Paris landmark opened with restrictions and daily number of visitors have been set to 13,000 – about half of its usual capacity – to enforce social distancing rules. It receives 7 million visitors every year, according to its website.

The lifts that whisk revellers up the 1,063-foot tall wrought-iron tower will also be opened almost after nine months of inactivity.

This was the second closure for the tower due to Covid-19. A tourist magnet, Eiffel has lost millions of euros after it was shut down for 104 days in 2020. The record was broken by another shutdown of a 9-month period between 2020 and 2021.

The management said it had lost 27 million euros ($30 million) till June last year after the lockdown began in March. The operational losses are now expected at 120 million euros ($146 million) for 2020-2021, according to AFP.

“We are ready to welcome you,” tweeted J-Francois Martins, president of La Tour Eiffel, or the Eiffel Tower.

The new set of tightened rules that will soon be enforced will include visitors aged 18 and above needing an EU Covid certificate or a negative test report, the website of Eiffel tower said.

Visitors will also have to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing.

Tourists will be able to book early reservations for tickets for the whole summer period through the Eiffel website.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government announced new anti-Covid measures on Monday, aiming to stop a fourth surge. Under the new rules, restrictions were eased for vaccinated people, prompting outrage among some.

Those who have a health pass would be able to access café terraces, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. Even as more details are yet to be given out, the announcement led to a rush in online bookings.

However, several people unhappy with the decision protested in Paris on Wednesday and clashed with the police, who fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd.

Around half of France’s population — 35.5 million people — have taken at least one vaccine dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far.

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