Paris Reopens the Louvre While Coronavirus Concerns Continue Throughout France (Video)
Paris’s Louvre museum reopened on Wednesday after closing for three days due to fears of the spreading coronavirus.
The museum had been closed since Sunday to protect staff members and thousands of daily tourists who pour into the iconic attraction every day from the disease. On Wednesday, staff overwhelmingly voted to return to work, according to The Associated Press.
Staff will work under a new set of anti-virus measures, which includes distribution of disinfectant gels and more frequent staff rotations so employees have opportunities to wash their hands during work. In the museum’s most crowded room, where the “Mona Lisa” is on display, employees will stand at the entrances as opposed to within the throngs of visitors.
Meanwhile, France is battering down on combatting the spread of the virus. A total of 257 cases have been confirmed in France with four deaths, according to France’s public health department. The government has temporarily banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people in enclosed spaces. The health minister also warned the French against their traditional "les bises" greeting of a kiss on each cheek during this time.
Life goes on as normal in most parts of the country. However, in a few regions where there have been outbreaks — Oise to the north of Paris, Haute-Savoie near the Swiss border and Morbihan in Brittany — have had schools temporarily canceled and gatherings suspended, according to The Local France. The government has regulated the price of hand gel and acquired surgical masks to pass out to medical personnel and sick patients.
France is still at a “pre-epidemic” level with the coronavirus but President Emmanuel Macron said he expects coronavirus will take on epidemic levels within the country. If it reaches that level, public transportation could be shut down or severely limited.
For more information on traveling during the coronavirus outbreak, visit Travel + Leisure’s guides to travel at this time and deciding whether or not you should cancel your trip.