Niagara Falls Tourists Boats, Watch Canada and the US Managing Pandemic Differently
American ships are filled at 50% capacity, but the Canadian vessels are much more cautious, operating at around 15% capacity.
Until August 21 the Canada/United States border may remain closed, but Niagara Falls is one province where American and Canadian tourists can still pass almost side by side.
The recent film of tourists boats at the world-famous Niagara Falls shows people-laden ships operated by the American company Maid of the Mist sailing in front of a sparsely populated ship run by Hornblower Niagara Cruises of Canada.
American ships are filled at 50% capacity, but the Canadian ships are much more cautious, operating at around 15% capacity.
One Canadian tourist told the reporters, "You can see why the pandemic is raging in the States but not in Canada when you look at the difference between the boats."
"The Maid of the Mist is following the guidance of New York State health officials," says the US tour company. "With the safety of our guests and employees in mind, we have implemented a number of changes to our operation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience."
Face masks are compulsory, and social distancing markers are made to the American tour boats. Out of a population of about 37.6 million, Canada has reported approximately 114,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the United States has 328 million people and reported nearly four million Covid-19 cases as of July 22.
The Canadian/US border is the longest unguarded border in the world and, since March it's been closed to all "non-essential traffic" due to Covid-19. The US and Canadian governments evaluate the agreement every 30 days.
"We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States with regard to Covid-19," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters this month. "We are going to continue to keep Canadians safe and to keep our economy flowing."