US, Canada to Close Borders to Nonessential Travel
TORONTO (AP) — The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday as the two nations work to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter, saying the decision would not affect the flow of trade between the countries.
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted.
We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he would close the country’s borders to anyone, not a citizen, an American or a permanent resident, and even then they must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Trudeau said the exemption for Americans, despite the rapid rise of cases in the U.S., was due to “the level of integration of our two economies.”
The United States has seen about 6,500 coronavirus cases and more than 110 deaths while Canada has seen about 600 cases and eight deaths.
Both countries are eager to choke off the spread of the virus but also maintain their vital economic relationship. Canada relies on the U.S. for 75% of its exports.