On Wednesday morning, President Trump announced that the United States would temporarily close its border with Canada. He wrote on Twitter: “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!”
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
The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday night:
An official said the two countries are in advanced talks but are still working out the details, including what the definition of non-essential travelers will be. Generally speaking, the official defined non-essential travel as tourism and cross-border shoppers. The federal government has stressed that border closures will not affect Canadians and permanent residents returning to the country …
There is more work to be done to finalize the deal, the official said, but they underscored the partial shutdown would still allow for medical supplies, food and other goods to continue to cross the border. Both countries want to keep going with trade and commerce, the official said. That includes things such as auto parts, which the official said would continue to be moved.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada would close its borders to non-citizens.
Speaking to reporters from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau said Canada will be closing it’s borders to people who are not Canadian citizens, or permanent residents of Canada. Trudeau said exceptions will be made for air crews, diplomats, immediate family members and U.S. citizens. He said second, airlines will ban anyone who is showing symptoms of the virus from getting on a plane. “That means anyone who has symptoms will not be able enter Canada,” he said.
Trudeau said Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montreal Trudeau Airport and Calgary International Airport would still receive international flights. He added that domestic flights and flights from the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean will still be in service.
Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu stated: “Now is the time to pull out all the stops to flatten the curve or slow the rate of infection. This will be very hard and it will require much personal sacrifice. It will require all of us helping in many different ways. The measures that we take now will protect people in our communities that are most at risk and ensure that our healthcare system can meet any surge in demand.”
She continued, “All of us can take actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Stay at home; wash your hands well and often. Practice social distancing. I know that many people are thinking of running out of food and other essential supplies; please note that we are not running out of food or other supplies. The Retail Council of Canada is working very closely with our government to ensure that our supply chain remains strong. Please don’t buy more than you need in a two-week period. Remember your neighbors; those people that buy just in time. Buy only what you need; be kind to one another. Even though this is going to be very hard, Canada is strong; Canadians are strong, and we’ve been through times that are hard before. The things that we do now that require sacrifice and generosity will get us through this time together.”