Though French independence day, Bastille Day, was on July 14, Parisians and tourists alike can belatedly celebrate in a special way. The Eiffel Tower reopened on July 16 after a nine-month closure. The famous landmark had to halt visitors last October due to the Covid pandemic and Europe's second wave of the virus. This period was the longest the Eiffel Tower has been closed since World War II.
Though visitors can return to the iconic structure, there are some additional safety precautions now in place. First, all visitors to the Eiffel Tower over age 18 now need to show an EU COVID Certificate for entry. These passes, mandated in a variety of public locations by French President Emmanuel Macron, prove that individuals have been fully vaccinated, had a negative virus test, or recently recovered from Covid-19. Additionally, there are greater capacity restrictions at the tower—daily capacity is limited to 13,000 visitors, half of the pre-Covid number. Masks are also required for anyone over 11 years-old.
So far, the tourist breakdown at the tower shows that foreign travelers are returning in larger numbers than last summer. However, there are still fewer than pre-Covid.
"Before Covid, it was 80% foreigners, 20% French [visiting the Eiffel Tower]," said Eiffel Tower director Patrick Branco Ruivo, per France 24. "Last year, it was 80% French, 20% foreigners. And this year, it’s amazing because it’s fifty-fifty. And for us, it’s the time that foreigners are coming back to the Eiffel Tower."
The Eiffel Tower previously closed for three months last year, during the early stages of the pandemic. In June 2020, it reopened, though the tower's highest point remained closed and visitors had to take the stairs. This week's reopening, in contrast, gives visitors access to the entirety of the landmark and elevator access (though in limited numbers).
However, for United States travelers, the State Department lists France, like many European nations, as a Level 3 country out of four Travel Advisory Levels, with Level 4 as the most risky. Their website tells tourists to "reconsider travel to France due to COVID-19."
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