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Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist blocked by Covid

Jesse Katayama in Machu Picchu
Jesse Katayama was originally supposed to visit Machu Picchu in March

Peru opened the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who had waited nearly seven months to visit the world heritage site.

Jesse Katayama was supposed to visit Machu Picchu in March but closed due to the coronavirus.

Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said that Mr. Katayama was granted access after making a special request.

The ancient Inca citadel, Peru̵

7;s main tourist attraction, is expected to reopen at reduced capacity next month.

An exact date was not provided.

Mr. Katayama was only planning to spend a few days in Peru, but got stuck in the town of Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu in mid-March due to coronavirus travel regulations.

“He had arrived in Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Neyra said at a virtual press conference on Monday.

The Inca city of Machu Picchu is located in the Andes mountains
Machu Picchu has been closed to tourists since March

Mr. Katayama was allowed to enter the ruins on Saturday with the park chief “so that he can do so before returning to his country,” said Mr. Neyra.

In a video recorded at the top of the Machu Picchu mountain, the tourist celebrated the long-awaited journey.

“This tour is really great, thank you,” said Mr. Katayama.

Peru has reported more than 849,000 coronavirus cases and 33,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

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