France to lockdown, Canada bars entry and Germany closes stores as the world attempts to stem the spread of COVID-19
France, Germany and Canada are among the several countries that are actively closing borders to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution.
Germany led the way by closing borders with France, Austria, and Switzerland except for essential commercial traffic earlier today.
The goal is to contain the spread of the virus and limit cross-border shopping. Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed social distancing, including the closure of most non-grocery, cultural and entertainment venues. She also said people should cancel all non-essential travel.
French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement as he addressed the nation from the Elysee Palace. "We are at war," repeated Macron. The lock down will be enforced from Tuesday March 18, where all residents will be ordered to stay at home.
The French Government has closed the borders in agreement with other European Union countries, where movement will be limited.
Spain will also close its borders later while France is considering more stringent lockdowns.
The European Commission has proposed a temporary ban on non-essential travel to the European Union that will initially last for 30 days.
Finally, following suite across the pond, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Canadians at a press conference today amidst the spread of COVID-19 outbreak and the measures that the Canadian Government is taking to protect its citizens.