Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Machu Picchu is to reopen for tourists after the COVID-19 lockdown on 1st July with its capacity reduced from 5,000 visitors to just 675 a day and a traffic light system to ensure social distancing.
Jean Paul Benavente, the Governor of the region of Cusco, announced that the number of visitors to Machu Picchu, located in the Urubamba Province in southern Peru, will be reduced to 75 people for visits of an hour and a half, with a total of 675 users a day.
The Incan citadel from the 15th century has been closed for visitors since 16th March when the country went into coronavirus lockdown.
Local authorities have presented a plan to reopen on 1st July which is to be approved by the Health Ministry of Peru with several measures to make the park a safe place for visitors.
The plan reportedly includes measures such as keeping social distance in the points where the four available routes around the city meet, the use of face masks, and capacity limits for certain parts of the park.
The Director of Machu Picchu, Jose Bastante, told local media: “During the tours for visitors the guides will carry out thorough work to make sure everybody obeys the protocol.
“There are some parts of the park where the routes meet and there will be rules and traffic lights to control those spots, one group will wait until the other passes to continue their way.”
Peru plans to open its borders to international tourists in July as one of the measures of phase 3 of the national plan to ease the COVID-19 restrictions.
Reports say that visitors older than 65 and children including both locals and foreigners will be allowed to go into the citadel for free.
According to the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) 400,000 jobs have been lost during the COVID-19 pandemic causing an economic loss of around 3.35 billion USD (2.68 billion GBP) in Peru.
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