Eiffel Tower Reopens In Paris After 104-Day Virus Lockdown
The Eiffel Tower reopened on Thursday for the first time since France imposed its coronavirus lockdown in March, though tourists will not be allowed to the top of the Paris landmark until later this summer.
Journalists from around the world were on hand as about 50 visitors, mainly French, prepared to make the steep climb by stairs to the first two levels, as elevators will remain closed because of social distancing concerns.
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, the 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 the top floor are small. It might reopen during the summer.”