(CNN) — The Canada/United States border is expected to remain closed until at least August 21, but there’s one region where American and Canadian tourists can still pass almost side by side, and that’s Niagara Falls.
Recent footage of tour boats at the world-famous waterfalls show a people-laden vessel operated by US company Maid of the Mist sailing past a sparsely populated boat run by Canada’s Hornblower Niagara Cruises.
The US boats are being filled to 50% capacity, but the Canadian boats are taking a much more cautious approach, operating at about 15% capacity.
“You can see why the pandemic is raging in the States but not in Canada when you look at the difference between the boats,” one Canadian tourist told reporters.
“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 mandatory and social distancing markers have been added to the American tour boats.
Out of a population of around 37.6 million, Canada has reported nearly 114,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.
The United States, meanwhile, is home to around 328 million people, and has reported nearly four million Covid-19 cases as of July 22.
The Canadian/US border is the longest undefended border in the world and, due to Covid-19, it’s been closed to all “non-essential traffic” since March. The US and Canadian governments review 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.”