Crowds of tourists are flocking to Niagara Falls once more
Crowds of toursists are flocking to Niagara Falls once again, with multiple pictures and videos of the busy boardwalk surfacing on social media this week.
Canada's most iconic attraction was particularly crowded over the May long weekend, just days after the Ontario government began reopening over 500 parks for activities like walking, hiking and biking.
However, the provincial government is still restricting public gatherings to five people or less — a number that was certainly in question last weekend.
It's not actually illegal to walk around in a crowd at Niagara Falls, but you can be fined anywhere from $750 to $100,000 for coming within 2 meters of people that you don't live with.
Yes! Randy and I went for a drive yesterday to Niagara Falls, assuming people would still be few and far between and we were way off! Lol pic.twitter.com/n7ItWoJnfY— Jessica (@MessyJessy9933) May 17, 2020
And Ford isn't the only one concerned: St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle took to Twitter on Monday to comment on the crowds.
"Seeing photos of crowds at Niagara Falls is worrying as community transmission is still occuring," he wrote. "It is imp[erat]ive that @NiagaraParks work with @NRPublicHealth to develop a plan and ensure the safety of visitors and residents."
To all the people who crowded around Niagara Falls today in huge crowds and no precautions taken, do you really not get it?— Sydney (@SydLessard) May 17, 2020
Don’t complain when we “lose our civil liberties” when you are all the ones causing this to go on longer. #COVID19Ontario
In contrast, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati says that the photos of crowds at the Falls are misleading.
He says he was down at the Falls for several hours Saturday and all the people he observed were doing a good job at maintaining physical distancing, per CKTB.
"It wasn't nearly as bad as those pictures and some of those videos portrayed," he said.
The Ontario government continues to remind Canadians to practice social distancing wherever possible.
"I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice, such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less," Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday.
"Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against. Please stay safe and protect yourself and others."
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