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

Victoria council recommends prioritizing housing for people in the area for at least a year

The motion passed unanimously during committee of the whole meeting

Deal Street artist to host front yard art show this weekend

Ojibwe artist inspired by West Coast features and landscapes

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read