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Romans Emotional as Colosseum Reopens for the First Time Since Lockdown

For representation: People wearing protective face masks walk on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice as France softens its strict lockdown rules during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France on Monday. (Reuters)

For representation: People wearing protective face masks walk on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice as France softens its strict lockdown rules during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France on Monday. (Reuters)

Adhering to post-lockdown rules, limited numbers of between 200-300 people will be allowed inside, a very different sight from crowds of tourists usually filling the Roman amphitheatre.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 2, 2020, 1:09 PM IST
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Rome's ancient Colosseum reopened its doors to the public for the first time in three months on Monday (June 1), but it won't be how visitors remember it.

Adhering to post-lockdown rules, limited numbers of between 200-300 people will be allowed inside, a very different sight from crowds of tourists usually filling the Roman amphitheatre.

There now strict social distancing regulations, attendance is allowed only with pre-booking, temperatures are checked before entering and masks are mandatory.

The thermo-scanner machine at the entrance even speaks, reminding people to keep their masks on.

Usually, a June summers day in Rome would be overflowing with tourists, but now for the first time since Romans can remember, they can marvel at the stunning landmark on their own.

"It's very emotional because now we can see the Colosseum by ourselves, like in ancient times," said local resident Silvia.

On opening day, there were only locals, as lockdown rules mean Italians still can't leave their own regions apart from an emergency.

But from June 3, free movement is allowed across the country and borders will reopen for European countries.

Numbers of tourists visiting the site will drastically drop in 2020 with many people still under lockdown and unable to travel. During 2019, 7.5 million visited the site making it one of the most viewed monuments in the country.

As one of the most iconic Italian monuments, the Colosseum witnessed many historic events in human history, the last of which the coronavirus outbreak that killed more than 33,000 people in the country.

Built by the Roman emperor Vespasian, the amphitheatre could seat 50,000 spectators who would gather to watch gladiatorial contests and sometimes executions.

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