UK

Tower Of London Reopens For First Time Since Lockdown

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tower of London has been shut for the longest period since the Second World War.

The Tower of London has welcomed back visitors after being shut for 16 weeks because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Due to the pandemic, numbers are restricted and measures have been put in place to help keep people safe.

It is the longest time the famous fortress has been shut since the Second World War.

"It's a really special occasion because we were so uncertain about what's going to happen with the coronavirus," Brigadier Andrew Jackson, Governor at the Tower of London, told Forces News.

"We didn't know when we would be able to open but, actually, now the relief of having some visitors coming through it's palpable amongst all our team here," he added.

In normal circumstances, during the summer up to 15,000 people a day can visit the tower.

However, because of the COVID-19 crisis, that number is now capped to 1,000 to ensure social distancing is respected.

The Tower of London is a famous landmark steeped in history and over the centuries it has served as a royal fortress, political prison and even a zoo.

But the Beefeaters, who normally share stories of the Tower's history with visitors, are unable to do any tours because of coronavirus measures.

social distancing sign at tower of london after lockdown reopening 100720 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
A maximum of 1,000 people a day will be allowed to visit the Tower of London.

Peter McGowren, Chief Yeoman Warder, told Forces News: "A lot of them [Beefeaters], I've seen them back on the blocks - as we call them...practising their stories again.

"They just can't wait to get out there again."

"We've spent a lot of time preparing and just making sure everyone is safe when they come in," Mr McGowren added.

"We want them to be safe, we want our staff to be safe, but we also want them to enjoy the experience."

Historic Royal Palaces, who run the Tower of London and five other sites, say they face a £98 million shortfall in their finances because of the pandemic.

The charity hopes the return of visitors will help plug the gap.

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