|Eiffel Tower to reopen to public on Jun 25, (BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)|
The 10-tonne metal 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.
“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.”
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.
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.
These included some of the French capital’s most famous landmarks such as the Louvre museum, due to reopen on July 6, and the Palace of Versailles which opened on Saturday.
“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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