Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday his nation is closing its borders to people who are not citizens or permanent residents as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in North America.
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At the same time, Trudeau said some exceptions are possible, including U.S. nationals.
Trudeau, who is in self-quarantine himself after his wife tested positive for the virus after a trip to London, spoke to the nation from outside his Ottawa home, according to the Montreal Gazette.
The restrictions don’t apply to commerce or trade, Trudeau said.
Beginning Wednesday, international flights will only be accepted at four airports: Pearson Airport in Toronto, Trudeau Airport in Montreal, Vancouver International Airport and Calgary International Airport.
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Any Canadians abroad showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to return, Trudeau said. Canadians out of the country should return home while they still can. “If you’re abroad, it’s time to come home,” Trudeau said.
BREAKING: Prime Minister Trudeau says Canada will close borders to non-citizens or permanent residents.— Tom Harrington (@cbctom) March 16, 2020
There are just over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases in Canada, and 15 new confirmed cases in Quebec, bringing the total in the province to 50.
Quebec has 15 new confirmed cases, brining the total to 50 cases from 3,000 completed tests. 3,000 others are under investigation.— Les Perreaux (@perreaux) March 16, 2020
Also on Monday, the European Union moved to suppress the spread of the coronavirus by restricting foreign travelers while also proposing fast-track traffic lanes to make sure vital medical equipment reaches EU citizens.
The plan was announced almost a week after a nationwide lockdown took effect in Italy, the country with the most reported virus cases in the world except for China.
Spain followed suit over the weekend, while other EU nations have adopted ad hoc national measures, including partial border closures.
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