The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, May 18 2020. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/EDWARD BERTHELOT
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, May 18 2020. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/EDWARD BERTHELOT

Paris — The Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited sites in Paris, will reopen to the public on June 25 more than three months after shuttering in France’s coronavirus lockdown, its operators said on Tuesday.

The 10-tonne metal landmark will emerge from its longest closure since World War 2 with limited visitor numbers at first, and masks mandatory for all over the age of 11, according to 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,” said the website, with a limited number of visitors per floor at a time.

The top level will remain closed for now, “as the lifts taking visitors from the second to the top floor are small. It might reopen 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 7-million visitors every year, about three quarters of them from abroad, according to the 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 include 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 reopening date of our online ticket office will be soon communicated,” said the Eiffel Tower website. “We strongly encourage our visitors to opt for online ticket purchase, to avoid the wait at the Tower’s ticket offices.”

AFP