Peru Opens Machu Picchu for Single Tourist Who Was Stranded in Country Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
JTB Photo / UIG via Getty Images Machu Picchu
One lucky tourist was finally able to see the sights of Machu Picchu after waiting seven months to see the famous stone ruins as closings have been made due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Jesse Takayama, a Japanese national, was given special access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Saturday after being stranded in Peru due to travel restrictions for COVID-19, Reuters reported.
Takayama had a ticket to Machu Picchu in March and had only planned to stay in Peru for a few days when he was stranded in Aguas Calientes, a town near the tourist attraction, according to Reuters.
Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra confirmed in a virtual press conference on Monday that officials only opened the Inca citadel to Takayama after making a special request.
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"He came to Peru with the dream of entering," said Neyra. "The Japanese citizen entered with our park manager so that he could do this before returning to his country."
In a video captured from the top of the mountain in Machu Picchu, Takayama thanked officials for the unique opportunity.
"That's so incredible!" He said. "Thanks!"
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Neyra said during Monday's press conference that Machu Picchu will reopen to domestic and foreign tourists at 30 percent of its normal capacity in November, although no date has been given, Reuters reported.
"We are still in the middle of a pandemic," said Neyra. "It is done with the necessary care."
There were 849,371 confirmed cases of COVId-19 and 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths in Peru on Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
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