Peru's Machu Picchu reopens after seven months of closure due to COVID-19

Peru celebrated the reopening of the Inca stone citadel of Machu Picchu after seven months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic with a ceremony of lights Sunday night.

The long closure of Peru's No. 1 tourist draw, which has hammered the local economy, marks the second time it has been shut down since it opened its doors to tourism in 1948. The first time was in 2010 when torrential and prolonged rains forced it to close.

In compliance with pandemic safety measures and protocols, the site will allow for a limited 30 percent admission capacity. The stone complex, built in the 15th century, will receive 675 visitors a day starting Sunday.

The site is accustomed to receiving 3,000 tourists a day, though it recently passed regulations limiting visitors to 2,244 a day to protect the ruins. It is still a large number as experts believe that in the 15th century a maximum of 410 people lived in the citadel that borders the Andes mountains and the Amazon.