FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Canada to close borders to most foreigners, but not to U.S., to slow spread of COVID-19

More than 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will close its border to all who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to slow spread of COVID-19.

Trudeau made the announcement from the steps of Rideau cottage in Ottawa Monday, as he is in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie was diagnosed with COVID-19 following a trip to the U.K.

Canada recorded at least 324 confirmed cases as of Monday morning, with a further 17 presumptive ones. Of those confirmed cases, B.C. has 103. Four people have died in Canada, all of them in B.C.

The Prime Minister said citizens of U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, as well as commerce, trade will be allowed in and out of the country.

As of Wednesday, the only airports in the country accepting international flights will be Vancouver International Airport, Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Calgary International Airport.

Trudeau said all Canadians currently abroad should return home by commercial means, while flights are still running.

“We can still slow the spread of this virus… but that window is closing,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau defended the travel ban coming in Monday, when both he and top health officials have dismissed it before.

“Now is the time to take this particular step. It is a significant step… but it is the right step to be taking today, he said, noting recommendations from health officials have changed.

Trudeau said his government is in close communication with the U.S. government and hinted the exception for American citizens crossing the borders could change soon.

“We recognize the level of integration of our two economies… puts the U.S. in a separate category,” he said, citing the economic integration of the two countries as to why Americans will continue to be allowed in.

Anyone returning to the country must still self-isolate for 14 days.

For those in Canada, Trudeau said although life did not need to shut down completely, careful precautions must be taken.

“All Canadians, as much as possible, should stay home.”

More to come.

READ MORE: Border closures, mandatory screening up for discussion amid COVID-19, Trudeau says

READ MORE: Not all sick people require COVID-19 tests, B.C.’s top doctor says

READ MORE: No travel ban, but travellers asked to self-isolate as Canada hits well over 300 COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: What’s open and closed in B.C. as a result of the novel coronavirus


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Take only what you need

Anne White of Harrison comments on community response to COVID-19.

WATCH: Agassiz-Harrison celebrates National Puppy Day

Facebook followers posted 44 pictures of their furry friends

LETTER: The importance of local grocers

C. and B. Lang Randall reply to an ALR-related letter

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read