674 steps in a face mask

12 Jun 2020 / 07:14 H.

AFTER shutting down in mid-March as part of France’s coronavirus restrictions, the Eiffel Tower is now set to reopen on June 25, joining cafes and restaurants in Paris.

But those hoping for a spectacular view of the City of Light will have to earn it: For hygiene reasons, the tower’s lifts will not be reopening for the moment.

Visitors will instead be able to climb the stairs as far as the second floor, 115 metres above the ground – a total of 674 steps.

As if that was not hard enough by itself, those above the age of 11 will also be required to wear face masks while making the climb.

The tower’s management said they hoped to reopen the lifts to the second floor as soon as health conditions permitted.

The summit of the tower will remain closed for the moment, as the lifts up to it are smaller. The near-1000 extra steps up to the top are not normally open to the public.

Online ticket sales will restart soon, management said.

France has been gradually easing its strict coronavirus lockdown measures since May 11. Cafes and restaurants reopened last week, though in Paris they are only allowed to serve customers outdoors.

Tourists from abroad are expected to start trickling back in late June at the earliest, and the government plans to start reopening its borders with other EU states, currently restricted to essential travel only, from June 15. – dpa

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