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

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read