French tourism gets new boost with reopening of Disneyland
France's tourism sector is taking another step toward normality with the reopening of Disneyland Paris
France began slowly reopening its economy last month after a COVID-19-induced lockdown. Monuments and museums are open, including major sites such as the Louvre and Versailles, as well as hotels, cafes and restaurants. Tourists will still have to wait for the Eiffel Tower, which is set to reopen on July 16 after major renovation work.
France's tourism sector is taking another step toward normality with the reopening of Disneyland Paris, two weeks after the country reopened its borders to vaccinated visitors from around the world. Europe's most frequented theme park in Marne-la-Valley, east of the French capital, opened its doors on June 17 after nearly eight months of closure.
Crowds of smiling visitors were greeted by Disney characters dancing to the sound of joyous music. Visitors must wear masks inside the park and other measures, including a cap on visitor numbers, have been put in place to ensure social distancing.
Pauline Baudouin, a Disney fan from Angoulme in western France, said: "We were missing out on magic, because it was already a complicated period and we needed to recharge our batteries in this magical world."
Prime Minister Jean Casteux said on 16 June that France was returning to "a form of normal life again" as he announced that people would not have to wear masks outside and except in crowded places. The government confirmed that children can remove masks in school playgrounds – yet they are mandatory for those 6 and older in the classroom. Curfew will be lifted from 11 pm to 6 am on June 20.
On 17 June, Health Minister Olivier Veran said nightclubs would be able to reopen in July under stricter rules - the first time since France's initial lockdown in March last year. The French tourism industry hopes to rebound in the summer as the country welcomes foreign visitors again - on condition they have received one of four EU-approved vaccines. Travelers have been banned from 16 countries, including India, South Africa and Brazil, which are battling the outbreak and worrying forms of the virus.
France began slowly reopening its economy last month. Monuments and museums are open, including major sites such as the Louvre and Versailles, as well as hotels, cafes and restaurants. Tourists will still have to wait for the Eiffel Tower, which will reopen on July 16 after major renovation work.
The government said the easing of restrictions is due to a drop in daily infections and vaccination campaigns, which have seen more than 59 percent. France's adult population gets at least one shot. The country this week introduced vaccination for people aged 12 to 18.
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