Adding to already-severe travel restrictions in place on international travel, spurred by the global COVID-19 outbreak, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cooperatively announced in separate press conferences held this morning that all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada border will be suspended.
There was no indication as to when that ban might be lifted, as the fast-moving threat of the novel coronavirus continues to defy predictions.
President Trump had disclosed in an earlier tweet, ““We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected.”
Shutdown of non-essential travel means that both nations’ residents will no longer be permitted to cross the border for purposes of recreation and tourism, as part of a pragmatic approach for limiting communities’ potential exposure to the virus. Trudeau emphasized that “essential travel will continue”, which includes, he said, crossings needed to perform, “essential work and for other urgent reasons.”
Addressing a media audience, Trudeau also affirmed, “Our governments recognize that we preserve supply chains between both countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Supply chains including trucking will not be affected by this new measure.”
Just yesterday (March 17, 2020), the European Union likewise announced the closure of its external borders to non-citizens in an increasing effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.