IZMIR, Turkey

Turkey’s iconic ancient city of Ephesus in the picturesque Aegean region has decided to limit the number of daily visitors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A total of 650 people will be allowed to visit the historic site at a time, said Cengiz Topal, director of the Ephesus Museum.

Normally around 10,000 people visit the site daily, he told Anadolu Agency.

In 2019 alone the site attracted nearly 2 million tourists and history buffs.

Ephesus was added to UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List in 2015.

With safety measures in place, museums and archeological sites across Turkey reopened as of June 1.

“Considering the social distancing [rules] during the ‘new normal’, we determined the number of visitors at a time to be 650,” Topal said. “We believe that the total visit number will vary between 4,500-6,000 during the day.”

Ephesus, previously an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman settlement near present-day Selcuk in the coastal Izmir province, boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back to 6,500 BC.

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