There's been another escalation to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. After closing the door on international travellers, the government is now doing the same with our closest neighbour. The Canada-U.S. border will be officially closed and Donald Trump announced it on Twitter before anyone else.
At 9:37 a.m. ET on March 18, the U.S. President tweeted to the world that all non-essential travel between the two countries will be put on hold.
"We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected," Trump wrote.
Late on March 17, it was reported that a deal between the two neighbouring countries to close the border was in the works.
According to CTV News, a joint announcement was expected today or tomorrow but it seems like Trump decided to break the news himself before anyone else could.
Since this closure of the border is only for non-essential travel, it will only stop tourists from crossing over but won't affect trade.
The move comes after Canada announced that all non-essential travel to international destinations should be avoided.
The country also closed its border to all non-Canadian citizens; however, the U.S. wasn't included in that closure. That meant Americans could still cross into the country but it looks like that's going to change.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also confirmed the border closure an hour after the U.S. President's tweet during a press conference outside of Rideau Cottage where he's under self-quarantine.
"We have agreed that both Canada and the United States will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border", Trudeau said.
According to the Prime Minister, Canadians and Americans cross the border every day to work or for other essential reasons so they won't be impacted by the closure. The restriction is about recreation and tourism.
"In both our countries, we're encouraging people to stay home, we're telling our citizens not to visit their neighbours if they don't absolutely have to," he said. "This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach."
It is unclear when these new measures will officially come into effect but Trudeau said they are working with the U.S. to make it happen quickly.
He also confirmed that this closure will be in place as long as it needs to be.