Workers are preparing the Eiffel Tower for reopening next week after the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the longest closing of the Paris landmark since World War II.
France’s tourism industry is reopening, but the 324-meter-high wrought-iron tower won’t immediately welcome visitors as it did before the country locked-down in March.
Only limited numbers of people will be allowed in when the Eiffel Tower opens again on June 25. Elevators upstairs are out of order and only the first and second floors are open to the public.
“At first, only visits by the stairs will be available,” Victoria Klahr, the spokeswoman for the tower’s management, said Tuesday.
Everyone over 11 years old will be required to wear face masks, and crowd control measures will be in place.
“We are optimistic that visitor numbers will pick up, even if it will likely be local tourists who visit the monument in the first weeks,” Klahr said.
A stringent cleaning operation is in place and that will continue daily from next week.
“There is a new protocol. (One) novelty is that the day cleaning teams will be able to clean all the points of contact every two hours, from the opening of the site to its closing,” said Eiffel Tower hygiene consultant Alain Miralles.
Tourists planning trips to the City of Light are advised to book tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower online. The online ticket office is scheduled to open on Thursday.
Paris tourism officials were cautiously optimistic about the city’s resurgence as a travel destination. The level of tourism has dropped by around 80% compared to the same month in the previous year.
“To visit Paris now is quite exceptional, as we of course don’t have many visitors and we don’t expect this summer to be at the same level as previous ones,” said Corinne Menegaux, the director of Paris’s businesses and tourism office.
She said the French capital remains welcoming and charming despite all the restrictions still in place.
“Let’s also not forget that Paris is one of the greenest cities around so there are plenty of outdoor activities available that can be done with families,” Menegaux said.
(Source – ET Travel)