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Paris’s Eiffel Tower Reopens—and the Louvre Is Soon to Follow

By Sarah Buder

Jun 25, 2020

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The Eiffel Tower welcomed back visitors on June 25 after being closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Shutterstock

The Eiffel Tower welcomed back visitors on June 25 after being closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After temporarily shuttering in early March amid France’s coronavirus lockdown, many of the most famous sites in Paris are welcoming back visitors this summer—albeit with new safety measures.

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Paris’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, reopened on Thursday, June 25, following its 104-day closure—the longest since World War II—due to the coronavirus pandemic. The iron-lattice tower is now welcoming back sightseers. But, of course, for those who visit, new social-distancing and hygiene protocols will be enforced.

All visitors over 11 years must wear a face mask during their time at the landmark, according to the Eiffel Tower’s website. Additionally, the top floor observation deck will remain off limits until further notice, and the elevators that usually whisk visitors up and down the 1,063-foot-tall structure’s three floors will be out of service through June 30. Those who want to take in the views from the Eiffel Tower’s first and second levels before July 1 can do so by taking the stairs (it’s a 328-step ascent to the first floor and a 674-step climb to the second). Travelers are also advised to book tickets for their visit online in advance.

Another hugely popular Paris attraction, the Louvre museum, will also reopen this summer. The world’s most-visited museum—which attracted 14.1 million visitors last year—outlined new safety measures for its upcoming reopening, slated for July 6. The Louvre’s announcement came on May 29, one day after France declared that nationwide museums, monuments, restaurants, bars, and cafés could begin to resume operations starting June 2 following steps to ease the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

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In the Louvre’s statement, the museum announces a required online reservation system for ticketed time slots and says that additional signage will be in place around the Paris institution to guide visitors and avoid overcrowding. When it reopens, all visitors and staff members over the age of 11 will also be expected to wear protective masks and maintain proper social distancing on the premises. 

The Louvre Museum—which attracted 14.1 million visitors last year—plans to reopen with new safety measures on July 6.

Additionally, about 30 percent of the museum’s rooms will be closed to visitors, but “of course the Mona Lisa will be open,” said Andre Sacristin, a labor representative who has been involved in the Louvre’s reopening plans, according to the Associated PressThe Louvre’s summer 2020 map indicates that rooms such as the renovated Galerie d’Apollon and the Salle des États (where the Mona Lisa is displayed) will be open, but the museum’s second level will remain closed. Overall, visiting “will not at all be as it was before,” Sacristin added. “That’s impossible.” 

Other famed cultural sites around Paris have started to resume operations, too. On Sunday, May 31, the Tuileries Gardens, located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, reopened to the public, although gatherings are still restricted to groups of up to 10 people. The Versailles Palace welcomed visitors back to its 17th-century châteaus and gardens on June 6, and art lovers could again explore the Musée d’Orsay’s vast collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings from June 23.

This article originally appeared on May 29, 2020; it was updated on June 25, 2020, to include current information. Associated Press contributed reporting.

>>Next: Europe’s Museums Begin to Reopen With New Rules and “Social-Distancing Devices”

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