Canada and the U.S. to temporarily close the border in an effort to further slow the spread of COVID-19

There will be no additional travellers across the 49th parallel as the world’s longest border closes to all but essential traffic.

The federal governments in both Ottawa and Washington announced this morning that the two countries had reached an agreement to temporarily shut down the border to all but essential traffic amid ongoing regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Following days of discussion between the two governments, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the consistent talks resulted in a mutual agreement to close the borders. Trudeau announced the decision in a press conference this morning, comparing the shutdown to public health official’s instructions to avoid visiting neighbours unless absolutely necessary. 

Essential travel will continue, such as trucks crossing the border to deliver food, as well as fuel and medical supplies to each country. Similarly, essential workers, such as healthcare professionals with residences and jobs on opposite sides of the border, will still be able to cross.

There will be exemptions in place so that Canadians in the U.S. can return home and vice versa.

The move comes only 2 days after Canada moved to restrict air travel to only Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Additionally, international flights have been limited to 4 airports nationwide: Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.   

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