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Eiffel Tower reopens after its longest closure since the Second World War

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By Euronews  with AFP
The Eiffel Tower was surrounded by fireworks to mark Bastille Day
The Eiffel Tower was surrounded by fireworks to mark Bastille Day   -   Copyright  Lewis Joly/AP

The Eiffel Tower has reopened for business after its longest period of closure since the Second World War.

The iconic Parisian landmark has been inactive for the last nine months in line with restrictions set out during the COVID-19 pandemic - but will begin accepting visitors again from Friday.

It won't be completely back to normal just yet as the 'Iron Lady' will only be accepting 13,000 people a day (around half the usual capacity) to help maintain social distancing.

From next Wednesday, visitors will also be required to show either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.

This is due to the French government's recent announcement on restrictions.

"Obviously, it's an additional operational complication, but it's manageable," said Jean-François Martins, the head of the operating company, in an interview with AFP.

Half the visitors are expected to be French, while Italians and Spanish tourists are expected to make up a larger percentage that usual.

According to Martins, there is an "almost total absence" of British tourists booking tickets, while 15% are American. Few tourists from Asia have so far booked.