AFP -The Eiffel Tower reopened on Friday after eight and a half months without visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic , its longest postwar closure, with an influx limited to 50% in its elevators.
The elevators of the "Iron Lady" lifted tourists back to their 300-meter summit to take in the majestic views of the French capital while a marching band played.
“It is a gift to be here. We love Paris, ”said Ila, who traveled from Hamburg, Germany, and waited more than two hours with her daughter Helena to be one of the first to climb to the top of the iconic building.
"Tourism is returning to Paris and we can once again share happiness with visitors from all over the world," said Jean-Francois Martins, director of the company that manages the Eiffel Tower.
The famous Parisian monument, whose operating company was recapitalized by 60 million euros (about $70.7 million) to face a deficit of about 120 million euros (about $141.5 million accumulated during the two years of crisis, will be able to accommodate up to 13,000 people a day. Before the pandemic, the monument received about 25,000 daily visitors.
Starting Wednesday next week, visitors will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, in accordance with the requirements recently imposed by the French Government, in the face of the rebound in Covid-19 cases.
"Obviously it is an additional operational complication, but it is manageable," Martins told AFP.