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Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue reopened to tourists this past weekend after being closed for nearly five months due to the pandemic. Abiding by the country’s safety protocols, the destination will operate for shorter hours.
The world-famous 98-foot-tall statue, which overlooks Rio De Janeiro, will now entertain only a third of its normal visitor numbers. According to the park’s management committee, all visitors must go through temperature checks, wear masks and use hand sanitisers strategically placed throughout the place.
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The park hosting the gigantic statue will be open from 8 am to 4 pm. It shall remain closed on Tuesdays for cleaning purposes. Tourist vans traversing the hill will limit passengers to less than 50% of its capacity meanwhile the tourist train will operate at 25%.
The reopening is followed by Brazil's government’s tourism campaign, Rediscover Rio. The campaign, which launched last week, offers half-price tickets to encourage residents to visit tourist hotspots.
The decision to reopen tourism has raised some questions as Brazil sits only second to the US with over 3.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 108,000 coronavirus-related deaths. The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro had earlier stated that the city’s beaches will remain shut until the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.
The Sugarloaf Mountain, the Rio Star Ferris wheel, and the AquaRio aquarium have also been opened along with the state park.
Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue has remained part of the country’s fabric through these tough times. It has been lit up in a doctor’s uniform to acknowledge the efforts of healthcare professionals, and also with flags of countries affected by the virus.
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