Night trains in Europe are making a fresh comeback as passengers and governments look for a greener and cheaper mode of transport across borders
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The famous “floating gardens” of Xochimilco finally had some visitors on Friday. The tourist attraction in the Mexico City neighbourhood was finally opened after a five-month lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Squads with protective suits, armed with disinfectants, wound through the canals and sanitised flower-decked boats and docks.
The flat-bottomed boats decorated with flowers and with mariachis playing music were a popular day trip for tourists visiting the city. The canals that run through manmade islands of Aztecs used to receive about 2 million people every year before the pandemic struck.
The New Normal in Xochimilco be like pic.twitter.com/JqVKF7duyR— Laura Martínez® (@miblogestublog) August 21, 2020
The borough government has enforced new safety protocols before letting in the few tourists who had come for the reopening. According to new guidelines, operators at the UNESCO World Heritage site will have to wear face masks and face shields. The traditional practice of tying up two boats, called trajineras, to accommodate larger groups has been banned in order to limit crowding. The passenger limit of each boat has been cut to 12 from 20. However, the tradition of ordering food from vendors in passing boats will stay in place. Boats will only run from 9 am to 5 pm.
Since bars and nightclubs remain shut in Mexico City, the hope is that the opening of the docks will attract visitors as the only public place to drink. Mexico is currently the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 affected country with 560,164 cases and 60,480 deaths, including 92,096 cases and 8,138 deaths in Mexico City.
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