Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower is set to reopen on Friday (July 16), much to the enthusiasm of tourists and businesses alike.
The beloved tourist attraction was closed in October 2020 due to the COVID crisis, which has hit the Paris’ tourism industry hard. This latest closure was the longest since World War Two.
The attraction receives 7 million visitors each year during normal times, according to its website.
From Friday, visitor numbers will be limited to 10,000 a day to meet social distancing requirements, fewer than half of their pre-COVID levels, French media have reported. Only half of the usual numbers will be allowed in the lifts.
Tourists, mainly from Europe and the United States are back in Paris, offering a glimmer of hope for businesses that rely on the influx of travellers to one of the world’s most visited cities.
The flow of tourists to Paris, many of them from Asia and the U.S., dried up almost completely last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and governments around the world imposed travel restrictions.
Now, with infection rates falling, France is gradually easing restrictions. A mandate requiring people to wear masks outdoors has been dropped, and a night-time curfew was rescinded.
The Paris Tourism Office said tourism accounted for about 6.5 percent of the greater Paris region’s economy in 2019.