Louvre re-opens to public after losing $45 million to COVID-19 lockdown

Louvre re-opens to public after losing $45 million to COVID-19 lockdown

One of world’s most visited museums reopened to the public today three and a half months of COVID-19 lockdown.

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France’s iconic Louvre Museum re-opened to tourists on Monday, without lengthy queues of visitors as before the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 7,000 reservations have been made for the opening day while before the pandemic the museum had around 30,000 visitors each day, Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of Louvre, said.

For those who arrived for a visit, mask-wearing is compulsory. Slots of 500 visitors every half hour have been set up to comply with health rules.

The museum has installed hand gel dispensers and put up signs reminding one-meter distance. Blue arrows and ground markings indicate the one-way direction of visiting route — no possibility of going back.

Closed since March 13 due to the epidemic, Louvre lost about 40 million euros (45 million U.S. dollars) in ticket revenues, canceled events and shop sales, according to Martinez.

Before the pandemic, 75 percent of the museum’s visitors were foreign ones. As travel bans just started to ease beyond Europe, visitors from countries like China, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., Brazil have not returned yet.