FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Canada to close borders to most foreigners, but not to U.S., to slow spread of COVID-19

More than 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will close its border to all who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to slow spread of COVID-19.

Trudeau made the announcement from the steps of Rideau cottage in Ottawa Monday, as he is in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie was diagnosed with COVID-19 following a trip to the U.K.

Canada recorded at least 324 confirmed cases as of Monday morning, with a further 17 presumptive ones. Of those confirmed cases, B.C. has 103. Four people have died in Canada, all of them in B.C.

The Prime Minister said citizens of U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, as well as commerce, trade will be allowed in and out of the country.

As of Wednesday, the only airports in the country accepting international flights will be Vancouver International Airport, Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Calgary International Airport.

Trudeau said all Canadians currently abroad should return home by commercial means, while flights are still running.

“We can still slow the spread of this virus… but that window is closing,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau defended the travel ban coming in Monday, when both he and top health officials have dismissed it before.

“Now is the time to take this particular step. It is a significant step… but it is the right step to be taking today, he said, noting recommendations from health officials have changed.

Trudeau said his government is in close communication with the U.S. government and hinted the exception for American citizens crossing the borders could change soon.

“We recognize the level of integration of our two economies… puts the U.S. in a separate category,” he said, citing the economic integration of the two countries as to why Americans will continue to be allowed in.

Anyone returning to the country must still self-isolate for 14 days.

For those in Canada, Trudeau said although life did not need to shut down completely, careful precautions must be taken.

“All Canadians, as much as possible, should stay home.”

More to come.

READ MORE: Border closures, mandatory screening up for discussion amid COVID-19, Trudeau says

READ MORE: Not all sick people require COVID-19 tests, B.C.’s top doctor says

READ MORE: No travel ban, but travellers asked to self-isolate as Canada hits well over 300 COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: What’s open and closed in B.C. as a result of the novel coronavirus


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Open Letter on the Temporary Adjustment to K-12 Education Funding

Canadian Parents for French is a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization

Parkland Regional Library members able to access digital content

Eckville Municipal Library patrons can access the list of electronic resources from their homes

Highlights of the regular council meeting – March 26, 2020

Next regular council meeting is on April 9 at 9 a.m.

Wolf Creek Public Schools answers questions about home-based learning

WCPS to roll out home-based learning details this week, March 30 to April 3

10-15 cm of snow expected before Tuesday across Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement with the possibility of a snowfall warning

VIDEO: 17 COVID-19 cases in central Alberta

March 23 update from Dr. Hinshaw

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Parents should respect custody arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic: Ont. courts

Parents should respect custody arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic: Ont. courts

Most Read