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

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Bus services taking extra measures because of COVID-19

More cleaning and more disinfecting underway

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Some Smithers businesses may re-open sooner rather than later

Weekly Chamber of Commerce video conference focuses on business concern amid COVID-19

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read