Coronavirus outbreak: Canada closing borders to non-citizens, Americans exempted

Wednesday, 18 Mar, 2020

The prime minister unveiled "increasingly aggressive" measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak, and urged people to stay at home. Trudeau has spoken to US President Donald Trump in recent days. "Canada is no exception".

Trudeau, whose wife had also tested positive for the virus, noted that the restriction would not affect permanent citizens, diplomats or immediate family members of Canadians. "I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported", he added.

"We've made a decision to take increasingly aggressive steps to keep you and your family safe".

"As much as possible stay home, don't go out unless you absolutely have to, work remotely if you can", he said.

It appears Niagara's border bridge crossings will remain open as the federal government announces that entry will be denied to nearly all non-Canadian residents.

"We are fully supportive of all measures the Government of Canada is undertaking to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Canada and across the world", Lemaire said.

In addition to this border closure, all travelers, including Canadian citizens, who are exhibiting symptoms will be denied access when boarding flights, Trudeau said during a press conference on Monday.

The prime minister said he has informed G7 partners of the new rules.

Starting March 18 at 12:01 a.m., or one minute past midnight Tuesday, all flights from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America will be diverted to four airports in Canada in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, said Garneau.

Trudeau also said he's spoken to the House Leader about recalling the House of Common to bring forth legislation and examine the Emergency Measures Act to see if it will be needed. There are an additional 17 presumptive cases.

Canadian officials announced three more deaths in British Columbia Monday.

The airline has also joined a list of global carriers calling on governments to provide assistance and support that will alleviate the "existential threat" posed by the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. "That means anyone who has symptoms will not be able to enter Canada", he explained.

Dr Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said that the border measures are "another layer" that the government has put in place "to add to the protection of Canadians".

"Let me be clear, if you're overseas, it's time to come home".

Trudeau said the border restrictions don't apply to trade or commerce.