With international travel restricted in various parts of the world because of the pandemic, known tourist destinations are left empty of their usual throng of gawkers.
Businesswoman Cherry Jane Magno was lucky.
Not only did she have another chance to visit Paris, she was also able to take along her sister whose dream has been to see the famous Eiffel Tower.
Going to Paris is easy for Cherry as her family has been residing in Germany for the past two years.
She owns the Balikbayan Cargo Service, a consolidator of balikbayan boxes in Europe.
She related to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Facebook Messenger, "As a foreign consolidator, we usually travel around Europe and collect balikbayan boxes to be sent to the Philippines.
"That’s why we went to France. At the same time, we were planning to tour my sister around Paris, France, since it’s her first time visiting the country.
"They opened the borders all over Europe on June 1, 2020, that’s why we were able to cross from Germany to France.
"No quarantine requirements when they opened the borders in Europe."
From her home, according to Cherry, Paris is only a half-day drive away.
She continued, "When we went to Paris last June 12 and 13, there were just a few people roaming the streets.
"Not much tourists in sight since most of the people around the area are locals, Europeans, or European Resident Permit holders like us."
Before COVID-19, the world-famous tourist attraction has 23,000 daily visitors, according to The Wall Stree Journal's article published on June 25, 2020.
Cherry went on to describe her experience seeing Eiffel Tower in tranquility, "It feels a little unusual compared to the first time I went to France.
"Back in the days when everything seems to be normal, every tourist destination is flocked by tourists all throughout the day.
"I honestly got excited because you will never get the chance to visit Eiffel Tower with empty or a few people around.
"I’m actually in awe seeing the Tower clearly."
Cherry also seized the opportunity to snap a photo of the uncrowded Louvre Museum, the largest art museum in the world.
She continued, "We passed by the Lourve. Lourve was closed at that time so there are really no people around the place."
The European Union reopened its borders to 15 countries, namely: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay on July 1.
As of July 14, the continent has reported 2,602,387 cases of COVID-19, with most patients coming from Russia (733,699), United Kingdom (290,133), Spain (255,953), Italy (243,230) and Germany (198,963).
Here in the Philippines, international flights in and out of the country are gradually resuming, but allowing only essential travels. Leisure trips abroad remain prohibited.