Saturday, 29 January 2022

Eiffel Tower reopens with strict virus restrictions

(Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images)

PARIS: Tourists and Parisians will from Thursday again be able to admire the view of the French capital from the Eiffel Tower after a three-month closure due to the coronavirus – but only if they take the stairs.

Visitors to the city’s most famous monument won’t be able to take the lifts until July 1, to ensure a safe distance between people to limit infection risk.

The very top of the iconic monument will remain off limits to the public for now.

The 10-tonne metal 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 mandatory face masks for all over the age of 11, said the Eiffel Tower website.

The first visitors will be allowed in from 10:00 am (0800 GMT), 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 June 18, 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.”

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