Eiffel Tower reopens to visitors following nine months of coronavirus restrictions

A man wearing a protective face mask walks at Trocadero square near the Eiffel Tower in Paris amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in France, January 22, 2021. (Reuters Photo)

The Daily Sabah said the Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors Friday following nine months of being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is the longest for the tourist attraction since World War II.

Daily capacity is set to be restricted to 13,000 people, about half of the normal level, in order to respect social distancing.

And from Wednesday next week, visitors will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test, in line with recent government-imposed requirements as COVID-19 cases again begin to climb.

Early reservations for tickets during the summer holiday period underline how the tourism industry in Paris has changed due to travel restrictions. Martins said there was an “almost total absence” of British ticket holders, while only 15% were Americans and very few from Asia.

Half of the visitors are expected to be French, while Italians and Spanish make up a higher proportion than usual.

The long closure has caused havoc with the finances of the operating company, Sete, which runs the monument on behalf of Paris city authorities. It is set to seek additional government aid and a fresh 60-million-euro ($70.77 million) cash injection to stay afloat, having seen its revenues plummet by 75% to 25 million euros in 2020.

The tower by architect Gustave Eiffel has also been hit by problems linked to its latest paint job, the 20th time it has been repainted since its construction in 1889.

Work was halted in February because of high levels of lead detected on the site, which poses a health risk to laborers. Tests are still underway and painting is set to resume only in the autumn, meaning a part of the facade is obscured by scaffolding and safety nets.

Source: dailysabah
Image source: Reuters-dailysabah