Two days after the Eiffel Tower lit up with fireworks for Bastille Day, the Parisian icon is celebrating another kind of landmark. After a nine-month shutdown caused by the global pandemic, the popular attraction is welcoming visitors again. This was the longest closure since World War II. By
The daily capacity for the 1,063-foot iron structure will be limited to 13,000 visitors, which is roughly half of its regular level, according to Agence France-Presse via France 24. Normally, it welcomes seven million people a year — of which 75 per cent are foreigners — totalling 300 million guests since its opening in 1889. The official site said that wait times to visit were “average.”
The nationalities of those who have booked tickets for the Eiffel Tower are proof of the pandemic’s effect on global travel. Half of the visitors with reservations are French, while those from Italy and Spain represent a higher-than-normal number. About 15 per cent are from the US, only a few are from Asia, and hardly any are Brits, AFP reported.
France’s COVID-19 infection numbers have been increasing again in recent weeks, as the Delta variant is becoming more pervasive. Earlier this week, President Emmanuel Macron announced a mandate that anyone boarding a train or plane or going to a mall, restaurant, or hospital must present a COVID-19 pass that shows they’re fully vaccinated, recently recovered, or have a recent negative test, according to the AP. “The country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic touching all our territory,” he said, with the Eiffel Tower behind him. “The equation is simple. The more we vaccinate, the less space we leave this virus to circulate.”
According to the new mandate for Eiffel Tower: starting July 21, everyone 18 or older will need to show an EU COVID Certificate for entry. “Obviously, it’s an additional operational complication, but it’s manageable,” Jean-François Martins of the Eiffel Tower’s operating company, Sete, told AFP.