Japanese tourist Jesse Katayama holds a Peruvian and a Japanese flag after becoming the first tourist to visit the Inca citadel during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Machu Picchu
Japanese tourist Jesse Katayama holds Peruvian and Japanese flags after becoming the first tourist to visit the ruins of Machu Picchu during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Machu Picchu, Peru, Oct. 13, 2020.

Peru is now allowing visitors at 17 archaeological and tourist sites after closing them for several months to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking at the Pachacamac archaeological site in Lima on Thursday, Peru Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said visitors to the sites will have to follow protocols, including wearing face masks and keeping a safe distance apart.

Authorities say nine other sites will open by the end of month, and a gradual reopening of several more will begin in November.

It is unclear when Peru’s popular Inca citadel of Machu Picchu will reopen.

The reopening of the tourist attractions is expected to give Peru a needed economic boost because the South American country has been hard hit by the pandemic.

Peru is among the leaders in COVID-19 cases in Latin American, recording more than 859,000 cases and just over 33,500 deaths.

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