12:59 | Cusco (Cusco region), Feb. 25.
The Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu
—Peru's main tourist attraction— will reopen to tourists starting Monday, March 1, Cusco Region Governor Jean Paul Benavente confirmed on Thursday.
welcomed the Government measures, which authorize the reactivation of activities such as visits to museums and archaeological sites.
"We have been coordinating with the Government and implementing measures in the region to maintain a balance between sanitary control and economic reactivation," Benavente told RPP radio and TV station.
"Cusco is seeing encouraging figures concerning the pandemic and has started to witness a decline in the number of deaths and new COVID-19 cases. We hope this drop will continue," he added.
He went on to say that Cusco could not wait any longer and that the reopening of Machu Picchu and archaeological sites will be the main signal guiding the economic reactivation in the region.
"Cusco has instituted important health protocols to facilitate safe corridors for tourists. We need to embark on an aggressive, although gradual and responsible reactivation," the official pointed out.
The governor emphasized that the coronavirus pandemic's economic impact on Cusco is huge, adding that the region lost around S/5 billion (about US$1.36 billion) in revenues last year.
"We have to reactivate ourselves and look forward," he stressed.
Moreover, he reported that the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will reopen to visitors, too. Maintenance works were being carried out along the path in the meantime.