#CanadaUSBorde, #TravelRestrictions; #RestrictNonEssentialTravel; #COVID19Pandemic
Ottawa, Mar 18 (Canadian-Media): An agreement had been reached between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Truduea and the United States President Donald Trump to temporarily restrict non-essential travel across the borders to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official page
The agreement also specified that the flow of key supplies between the two countries will not be effected.
Soon after the Trump's first tweet to the news Wednesday morning, Trudeau announced in a news conference held outside his Rideau Cottage, on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, where he's in self-isolation that travelers will no longer be able to cross the border for recreational and tourism purposes.
Canadian citizens will be able to get home, although the travelers presenting symptoms will not be able to board flights.
It was added by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair that essential work done by Canadians and Americans who cross the border every day will not be affected.
International students, workers on visas and temporary foreign workers, said Blair, would also be allowed to enter Canada with the condition to self-isolate for 14 days.
The border restrictions are expected to will kick in within "hours or days," said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, noting that some $2.7 billion in trade crosses the border every day.
At his own press conference in Washington, Trump said the temporary restrictions as a result of a mutual decision, could last a month.
Wednesday's border announcement came at the same time as the government unveiled a $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the federal government has been authorized by the Emergencies Act, which came into effect in 1988, to declare a public welfare emergency and prohibit travel, provision of essential services by qualified people, and regulate the distribution of goods, it still has to get the consent of the provinces before seeking parliamentary approval within seven sitting days.
Major crossings will be equipped with quarantine officers on site to screen Canadians for symptoms. Sick individuals will still be allowed into the country, but then refer to public health authorities on the Canadian side of the border.