Niagara Falls, Ond. – U.S. tourists in Niagara, Ontario, for the first time in a year gradually after Monday, were eager to see the thundering waterfall, enjoy the attractions of the area, and explore the vineyards.
They have been well received by local businesses that rely heavily on tourism, and have therefore been heavily affected by epidemic border controls for almost a year and a half.
“We’re so excited to be in Canada, this is our first visit,” Rainbow said as he crossed the bridge and headed for Niagara with his children. Ms. Steves, from Illinois, said it took them about 90 minutes to cross the border, but border service officers were efficient and kind.
Ashley Earl decided to move to the Niagara area for the first time Monday with her mother. They wanted to use border flexibility on vacation. “I’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls,” said Ms Earl of North Carolina. “I love nature (…) and (this trip) is coming to my birthday, so it’s very special.”
Americans who received two doses of one of Health Canada’s approved Covit-19 vaccines have been allowed to enter the country for non – essential travel since Monday. However, they should receive their second dose for at least 14 days and give a negative result of the molecular test for COVID-19 taken within the last 72 hours.
For fully vaccinated passengers, the test will not be required upon arrival unless they have been selected to undergo Covit-19 molecular testing. No changes in requirements
Closed for 17 months
Businesses along the Niagara border in Ontario are eagerly awaiting this relaxation after 17 months of restrictions. Janice Thompson, director of the Niagara Falls Regional Tourism Company, says nearly 30% of visitors to the area come from the United States.
The owner of “Niagara Wine Tours International” has said that the demand for wine country tours has increased since the delimitation began in Ontario and is expected to increase further as the Canada-US border is relaxed. Lance Patton often remembers American travelers coming to the area to celebrate the anniversary, host a corporate event, or enjoy group trips.
Zahir Ismail, owner of Niagara Falls and popular “Beaver Tails” restaurants in Niagara Falls, is delighted to be serving American customers again, but on Monday hoped that travelers would follow public health guidelines. No need to shut down yet. “I hope it’s going to last a long time, because with this type of delta, I’m afraid we’ll close again.”
The mayor of Niagara Falls has been saying for months that the border should be reopened, not expecting the “madness” of American tourists this week. Jim Diodati hopes that those who want to cross the border immediately will reunite with relatives and friends who have not seen them in two years, as well as want to check the status of their own property. In Canada. “I think it’s going to be gradual, because for one day hikers, it will take a lot of work and overcoming obstacles.”
Similarly, the cruise ship that takes visitors to the famous cataract does not expect a significant increase in activity immediately. Mori Dimirricio, COO of “Niagara Cruise”, said the Canadian “Hornflower” ships, which can accommodate up to 700 passengers, are only 25% to 35% operational, while American ships are packed with “Maid of the Mist”.
This post was written with the financial support of the Facebook Stock Exchange and the Canadian Press for News.