Canada and the United States will close the world’s longest unprotected border to non-essential travel to combat the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the border would be closed to tourists and those crossing for pleasure.
“We have agreed that both Canada and the United States will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-US Border,” he said.
“Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism. In both our countries, we’re encouraging people to stay home.”
President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday morning that the US-Canada border would close “by mutual consent,” noting that trade “will not be affected.”
Several reports from Canadian and American media Tuesday night indicated the US and Canadian governments were working on such an agreement.
The sources said that there will be some exceptions to the travel ban but so far the details of the closure have not been made public.
This comes just two days after the Canadian government closed the border but carved out a specific exemption for Americans.
“I know that these measures are far-reaching,” Trudeau said at the time. “They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures.”
In that same announcement, Trudeau said that no one with COVID-19 symptoms will be allowed on a flight to Canada. All international flights are now being directed to either Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
It’s unclear if the border closure will affect the movement of illegal border crossers, who to date have been allowed into Canada despite limits on legal entrants.
Last week RCMP assured an open-borders organization that illegal border crossers would still be allowed into Canada, even if the Canada-US border was closed.