Machu Picchu Reopening in July

When Machu Picchu reopens to domestic visitors in July, it will host a reduced number of guests each day and implement new health and safety protocols.

According to Agence France-Presse, the Peruvian citadel is a key tourist attraction in the country, but only 675 visitors will be allowed in each day, around 25 percent of the maximum guests allowed inside the historic site the same time last year.

Tour guides will lead tours of only seven visitors to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed. In addition, all guests and employees at Machu Picchu will be required to wear masks when on the property.

The historical site was closed on March 16 as part of the Peruvian government’s effort to stop the coronavirus outbreak as travel restrictions went into place around the world. The country reported 225,000 confirmed cases of the viral infection and around 6,500 deaths.

Government officials began work in May to bring back tourists, as local economies depend on the industry for much of their income. Peru’s Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos said the country’s tourism industry has suffered losses totaling $3.3 billion this year.

To entice travelers from around the nation, attractions are offering free entry to children, public employees and the elderly. Peru’s airports remain closed, but they are scheduled to reopen in July or August.

The government has not revealed when the nation would reopen its borders to international travelers.

Machu Picchu saw an average of 2,000 to 3,000 visitors a day before the pandemic and was last closed to visitors in 2010 after a flood damaged the access railway. During the closure, the government added security to prevent thefts of archaeological treasures from the site.

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