Paris: Eiffel Tower announces date for reopening

Paris: Eiffel Tower announces date for reopening
AFP
The Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited sites in Paris, will reopen to the public on June 25th more than three months after closing in France's coronavirus lockdown, its operators said Tuesday.

The landmark will emerge from its longest closure since World War II with limited visitor numbers at first, and face masks mandatory for all over the age of 11, said the Eiffel Tower website.

“At first, only visits by the stairs will be available,” and not by elevator, it said, as a means of ensuring a safe distance between people to limit infection risk.

READ ALSO: 13 things you probably didn't know about the Eiffel Tower

“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,” added the website, 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 re-open during the summer.”

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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, about three-quarters of them from abroad, according to the tower website.

Versailles and Louvre

The Palace of Versailles will open on Saturday whilst the Louvre museum in Paris, home to the Mona Lisa, is to reopen on July 6th after the government allowed French museums and historic sites to reopen their doors following the coronavirus shutdown.

Culture Minister Franck Riester has said that wearing a mask would be obligatory for visiting a museum in France while some will have to impose prior reservation systems to avoid a heavy influx of visitors.

“The implementation of a reservation system as well as new signs will allow us to offer maximum safety to our visitors, in addition to wearing a mask and respecting social distancing,” the Louvre said in a statement.

It added that online reservations for visiting the Louvre when it reopens on July 6th would open on June 15th.

Tickets in advance

The tourism industry of France, one of the world's most visited countries, has taken a hard hit under a lockdown to halt the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels, restaurants, museums, and theatres closed.

“The re-opening date of our online ticket office will be soon communicated,” said the Eiffel website.

“We strongly encourage our visitors to opt for online ticket purchase, in order to avoid the wait at the Tower's ticket offices.”


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