Canada closing borders to non-citizens, Americans exempted

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will close the country’s borders to anyone not a citizen, an American or a permanent resident — and even they have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival — due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Let me be clear: If you are abroad, now is the time to come home,” the prime minister said.

“If you’ve just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days.”

He also said those already in the country, “as much as possible should stay home.”

He spoke outside his residence, where is self isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Trudeau said the exemption for Americans, despite the rapid rise of cases in the US, was due to “the level of integration of our two economies.”

The US accounts for 75 percent of the country’s exports.

“Canada and the United States have the longest un-militarised border in the world and that border is vital to the daily life to people on both sides that live of that border,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

But she noted American tourists are not likely to visit anyway because they will have to self isolate.

“I don’t consider that something that a tourist would like to do for a holiday,” she said.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr David Williams, meanwhile, recommended that all bars and restaurants close, other than those doing take-out and delivery.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, had already ordered all public schools closed for two weeks after March break.


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