Images and footage emerging from the tourist hotspot of Niagara Falls have shown the stark differences between the social distancing rules in Canada and the neighbouring US.

Although cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across the US, neighbouring Canada has largely managed to contain the spread of the virus.

It has been helped by strict social distancing measures and mandatory masks in several jurisdictions.

At the famous waterfalls on the US-Canadian border, Canadian ferries are limited to just six passengers per boat, out of a 700-person capacity.

But on the US side, the ferries are operating at 50% capacity, according to Maid of the Mist boat tours.

"We actually took a picture of the (American) boat," said Julie Pronovost, visiting from Quebec with her family.

"I don't find that it's very safe to be on a boat like that. It's much better here."

Maid of the Mist could not be reached for comment but its website said it was following the guidance of New York State public health officials.

The boats contain markers to keep visitors spaced out, and face coverings are compulsory, among other safety changes, it said.

Mory DiMaurizio, general manager and vice president of Canada's Hornblower Niagara Cruises, said the limits placed on its business by the Ontario provincial government were "disappointing".

He said that it was "frustrating" to see the American boats relatively full.

"However we've made lemonade out of lemons," Mr DiMaurizio said, referring to a new VIP cruise the company has created – a near-empty boat, plus a meal and funicular ride included with the ticket.

Health precautions include temperature checks and mandatory masks.

The US reported 57,777 new Covid-19 cases as of yesterday, compared with Canada's 786.

Since the outbreak began, the US has reported around 118 coronavirus cases per 10,000 residents, while Canada has around 30.