MACHU PICCHU: French citizens Veronique and Arnaud pose for a photo under a door at Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel which has become the crown jewel of Peru’s tourist sites.—AFP
MACHU PICCHU: French citizens Veronique and Arnaud pose for a photo under a door at Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel which has become the crown jewel of Peru’s tourist sites.—AFP

MACHU PICCHU: The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru’s tourist sites, reopened on Sunday with an ancient ritual after a nearly eight-month lockdown due to the pandemic.

For safety reasons, however, only 675 tourists will be able to visit the site per day, just 30 percent of the number of visitors pre-pandemic.

Under a fine drizzle and multicoloured lights, an Inca ritual was held in the evening to thank the gods for the citadel’s reopening.

“Today, Machu Picchu opens. It opens with (health and safety) protocols, it opens to say that we are reactivating ourselves but with responsibility and great prudence, because we see everything happening in the world” with the pandemic, Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Rocio Barrios said in a speech.

The first train of tourists had arrived in the morning at Machu Picchu Pueblo, the village closest to the citadel, after a 90-minute journey along the Urubamba River from the ancient Inca village of Ollantaytambo.

Opening Machu Picchu to the world shows “that we Peruvians are resilient”m Barrios said.

The number of coronavirus cases has been steadily decreasing in Peru, and tourists will be expected to maintain social distancing.

The coronavirus lockdown has been a body blow to the tens of thousands of people who make their living from the country’s tourism industry, especially those in the mountainous Cusco region where the stone citadel is located.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2020

Opinion

Coping with Covid perils
01 Aug 2021

Coping with Covid perils

Little accountability in countries such as India and Pakistan has meant whimsical decision-making.
A missing placard
Updated 01 Aug 2021

A missing placard

Scrutiny, protests, and swift police action are no guarantees of justice.
Urban flood risk
01 Aug 2021

Urban flood risk

Flood risk has been exacerbated by unchecked encroachments.
No woman’s land
Updated 31 Jul 2021

No woman’s land

We don’t just have violent men. We have a violent system.

Editorial

Necessary lockdown
Updated 01 Aug 2021

Necessary lockdown

AS the countrywide positivity ratio of Covid-19 infections crossed 8pc, Sindh imposed a nine-day lockdown effective...
01 Aug 2021

No Olympic glory

FOR about 30 minutes at the Tokyo Olympics weightlifting competition last week, Talha Talib remained in the podium...
01 Aug 2021

Preventable E-11 flooding

THE flooding on Wednesday in Islamabad’s E-11/2 sector is deserving of the shock it has spawned. The flouting of...
China-Taliban meeting
Updated 31 Jul 2021

China-Taliban meeting

WITH the government in Kabul appearing to stand on very fragile foundations, and as the clock ticks down to the ...
31 Jul 2021

Outages in Makran

IT is no surprise that people in Balochistan’s Makran Division have of late taken to the streets to protest in the...
31 Jul 2021

Reduction in polio cases

AFTER the long and tedious efforts of those running the national polio programme, there are signs that Pakistan ...