The Paris-Eiffel Tower reopened on Friday after eight months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the longest closure since World War II.
When the countdown clock at the foot of the tower reached zero, the waiting visitors cheered and applauded, the brass band began playing, and people began filing from the entrance.
“I feel very lucky to be here,” said 18-year-old Patrick Pertka from Croatia, who had been waiting three hours for the gate to open.
He was the first to visit the Eiffel Tower. “That’s a big deal,” he said of the tower. “Everyone knows about it.
Due to prolonged concerns about the virus, masks are required for people over the age of 11 and each elevator car can only accommodate half the normal number of visitors.
Beginning July 21, visitors will be required to present a French government “health pass” to prove that they have been vaccinated or have recently undergone a negative test for COVID-19.
By Yiming Woo and Emilie Delwarde