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Monday, November 29, 2021

New normal? Covid measures linger at the world’s great attractions

Other measures have also been introduced. To ease congestion, tour group sizes are now limited to 10 people, including a guide, and tickets must now be bought for specific time slots. If you miss your assigned time, you will be denied entry, which has reportedly led to a slew of tardy travellers in floods of tears outside the site. 

The new rules should mean a less harassed experience on the ground and lead to a more responsible way of experiencing the ruins. However, with construction recently starting on a new international airport to ferry visitors to the archaeological site, hopes of a move to more sustainable tourism may have been misplaced. 

The Colosseum, Rome

For those looking to avoid the crowds, winter has long been the best time to visit the Colosseum, though even in the height of summer this year numbers were down from an average of 25,000 per day, pre-Covid, to around 7,000. 

With some key markets still not travelling, those off for a jaunt to Rome in the next few weeks should find the queues mercifully short, though there is the increased hassle of having to show proof of vaccination, or evidence of a recent negative test or recovery from Covid. Still, apart from mandatory masks, a visit to the Italian capital’s top landmark should feel relatively normal. And crucially, visits on the first Sunday of every month are still free. Just don’t be tempted to behave like the two American tourists who last week were slapped with an 800-euro fine for breaking into the Colosseum after dark to drink a couple of beers. 

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