Eiffel Tower reopens eight months after being closed due to COVID and has undergone extensive remodelling.
The Eiffel Tower reopened today, Friday, July 16, after an eight-month shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, its longest closure since World War Two.
As a countdown clock at the foot of the tower turned to zero, there were cheers and applause from visitors queuing to get in, a brass band started playing and people starting filing through the entrance.
“We feel pretty lucky to be here,” said Patrick Perutka, an 18-year-old from Croatia who had been waiting for three hours for the gates to open.
He was on his first visit to the Eiffel Tower. “It’s a big deal,” he said of the tower. “Everyone knows about it.
Because of lingering concerns about the virus, masks remain compulsory for anyone over 11 years of age, and each elevator car will only carry half the normal number of visitors.
From July 21, visitors will need to show a French government “health pass” to demonstrate they are either vaccinated or have had a recent negative test for COVID-19.
The Paris landmark has been undergoing the most extensive update seen in its 130-year history ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics. The revamp will include a new paint job to give the monument a golden tint, however, the painting has been suspended following the discovery of traces of lead in existing layers which makes it a hazard to continue.
It was shut for over three months during the first wave of Covid in spring 2020, and then shut again in August, this is the longest closure since World War II.
Sete president Jean-François Martins said in a statement: “After several months of closure, we are impatient to have our staff and visitors back with, of course, a strict compliance with health protocols.”
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