March 16 2020  |  International News

Breaking News: Canada and U.S to announce border crossing restrictions for tourists and visitors

By Jas Ryat

UPDATE: American and Canadian governments have confirmed an arrangement to restrict tourists and visitors from crossing the border on both sides. Shipments, trade and commerce will carry on as usual.

This comes after news earlier this week that Canada was shutting its border to most non-citizens looking to enter as of Wednesday March 18th, with some exceptions and offering financial support to travelers looking to come home.

A joint announcement is to follow within the next 48 hours.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Canadians at a press conference earlier this week amidst the spread of COVID-19 outbreak and the measures that the Canadian Government is taking to protect its citizens.

Key messaging from the Ottawa speech included closing its borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Trudeau explained this did not include diplomats, U.S. Citizens and air crew.

Following this, he said airlines will ban anyone who is showing symptoms of the virus from getting on a plane. A basic health check will assess those traveling, “means anyone who has symptoms will not be able enter Canada,” he said.

Finally, as of Wednesday March 18, only four airports will be receiving international flights, Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montreal Trudeau Airport and Calgary International Airport. “Domestic flights and flights from the US, Mexico and the Caribbean will not be affected, and that the measures do not apply to trade or businesses,” explained Trudeau.

The PM also discussed support programs for Canadian travelers, and stressed to avoid non-essential travel. “If you are abroad, it’s time to come back home,” he said. “If you have just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days.”

He closed by underscoring the power of social distancing. “However, social distancing does not mean stop talking,” he said. Trudeau maintained that everyone should care for each other at this time, only buy what you need and stressed that in Canada, “we are lucky to have outstanding health care officials. At the same time our Government is doing everything they can do to keep our people safe.”

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