"We will be denying entry into Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents ... it is a significant step that we take in exceptional circumstances", Trudeau told reporters outside his home, where he is under quarantine after his wife, Sophie, tested positive for the respiratory virus.
"Canadians now outside the country should find out what commercial options are still available and consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited".
Border restrictions won't apply to trade or commerce, he said.
The prime minister cited the close relationship between Canada and the USA for the reason behind the exception for American citizens. Airlines will be allowed to land in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary global airports. "I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported", he said.
Other provinces have taken more extreme measures. As of Monday morning the number of cases grew to 377 from 197. Out of the cases reported, 11 individuals have recovered.
Based on screenshots of the new questions shared by CBSA, among what passengers will be asked is: "Do you now have a cough, difficulty breathing, or feel you have a fever?"
Canada's Parliament was suspended Friday, March 13, until April 20.
Trudeau acted after the premiers of the two most populous provinces - Ontario and Quebec - urged him to clamp down on the borders. Other provinces have followed suit.
As of the writing of this article, there were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in BC according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
"Anyone who has symptoms can't come to Canada", Trudeau said.
Last week Canadian PM Justin Trudeau went in for "self quartine" and chose to work from home after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive for the virus. However, anyone coming into Canada is subject to a basic medical screening which requires them to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they are coming from outside Canada. "We're going to continue trusting our public health officials but of course we're hearing the concern people have had".
Shopping malls in various locations in Canada are reducing open hours and some companies like Nike are shuttering all outlets in Canada and the United States beginning Monday through March 17.
"What the experts are telling us, is that this situation will get worse before it gets better", added Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister, after Trudeau spoke.
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