Photo Credit: franckreporter
Paris' Eiffel Tower Reopens To Visitors Following 9-Month Closure
The Eiffel Tower reopened Friday after a record nine-month closure due to the pandemic, according to France 24. The iconic monument welcomed back visitors with “welcome” messages in multiple languages.
Paris’ “Iron Lady” closed in October as France battled its second surge of COVID-19, and remained closed for renovations as other French tourist attractions reopened last month.
It’s reopening came four days after French President Emmanuel Macron announced new measures aimed at warding off a fourth surge amidst the fast-spreading Delta variant. The new measures include mandatory vaccinations for health workers and mandatory COVID-19 passes to enter restaurants, malls, tourist attractions, and other venues.
Beginning Wednesday, July 21, all visitors to the Eiffel Tower over the age of 18 will be required to show a “health pass” proving they’ve been fully vaccinated, received a negative COVID-19 test result in the last 48 hours, or recently recovered from COVID-19.
All visitors to the Eiffel Tower are required to wear a face mask, and the number of daily visitors is being limited to 25,000, roughly half of the normal pre-pandemic visitors.
“We worked, we worked, we worked,” said Patrick Branco Ruivo, director of the Eiffel Tower. “And when I saw my first visitor, I was very, very happy. Emotion and happiness.”
Early ticket reservations for the tower show just how much tourism in Paris has changed due to the pandemic and its resulting travel restrictions.
“Before COVID, it was 80% foreigners, 20% French. Last year, it was 80% French, 20% foreigners. And this year, it’s amazing because it’s fifty-fifty. And for us, it’s the time that foreigners are coming back to the Eiffel Tower,” said Ruivo.
The tower has also faced issues linked to its latest paint job, the 20th since its construction in 1889. Work was halted in February due to high levels of lead detected on the site. Tests are still under way and painting is set to resume in the fall, meaning a part of its façade is currently obscured by scaffolding and safety nets.