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Machu Picchu opened up for single tourist who waited seven months to see it

Machu Picchu opened up for single tourist who waited seven months to see it
© Getty Images

Peru's famous Machu Picchu ruins, closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened on Monday for one lucky Japanese tourist after he spent months stranded in the country due to global travel restrictions.

In a video first reported by The Guardian, Jesse Takayama expressed his gratitude to officials who granted his special request to visit the ruins after he arrived months ago in a small town near the ruins, where he has remained since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place by Peru's government and others around the world.

“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Peru's minister of culture, Alejandro Neyra said at a press conference Monday, according to The Guardian. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”

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Takayama originally purchased his ticket to visit the ruins in March, according to the news outlet.

Peru was forced to implement drastic COVID-19 restrictions on travel including an end to all incoming international flights earlier this year, which only relaxed this month after the nation's rate of new COVID-19 cases began declining in August.

The country has seen its rate begin to increase in recent days as well, and still faces one of the worst outbreaks in South America according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Neyra added. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”

Peru has recorded just over 849,000 total cases of COVID-19, and 33,305 deaths since the pandemic began.