President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. and Canada will close the border to all non-essential traffic.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning, “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!”
White House officials will hold a briefing on the latest on the coronavirus crisis at 11:30 AM ET on Monday.
A lot of production in Canada already has shut down, but the border closure likely would still have a significant impact on the industry.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced restrictions on the U.S.-Canadian border, albeit it remained open to U.S. citizens.
“In both of our countries we are encouraging people to stay home. We are telling our citizens not to vist their neighbors if they don’t absolutely have to,” Trudeau said. He said that supply chains of food, medicine and fuel will continue. Those who cross the border for essential work will not be impacted, he said.
The New York Times reported that U.S. officials also are planning to announce new border controls at the U.S.-Mexican border, including restrictions on asylum seekers.
The total number of coronavirus cases passed 200,000 on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There have been 8,244 deaths, and 82,107 have recovered.
The U.S. already has restricted entry from Europe, China and South Korea.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that they will take up a House coronavirus relief package on Wednesday. The legislation includes testing funding, unemployment insurance benefits, increased Medicaid spending and food assistance.
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