The Edinburgh Castle, one of Scotland’s biggest tourist attractions, has reopened for the first time since it was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With COVID-19 lockdown rules in Scotland easing, the castle, perched on a rock high above the Scottish capital city, reopened on Saturday along with two other major historic sites, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle, reports Xinhua news agency.
“A number of new safety and hygiene measures will be in place at the castles. Capacity will be reduced on site, one-way systems will be in place in some locations, and access to small enclosed spaces where physical distancing is not possible will be restricted,” said Historic Environment Scotland (HES), custodian of Edinburgh Castle.
Visitors are also required to wear face coverings when entering the retail shops, in line with Scottish government guidance.
“It has taken a significant amount of planning to reach this point, and I’m very proud of the efforts of all of our staff who have been instrumental in making these sites ready to safely welcome visitors once again.” said Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES.
“The tourism sector will be central to Scotland’s national recovery, and our historic attractions are a key part of that tourism offering,” Paterson added.
The historic fortress, which dominates the skyline of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, continued at times to be a royal residence until 1633.
Starting from the 17th century, it was used as military barracks with a large garrison.
The castle has witnessed 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, making it one of the most attacked in the world.