President Trump on Wednesday announced the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to all non-essential travel.
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!”
The specifics of the border closure will be released within the next 48 hours, CNN reported on Tuesday. The two countries are still ironing out the categories of which types of vehicles and people would be allowed to cross the border.
“The Canadians have been our friends throughout this and many other crises, and they continue to be honest brokers,” a Trump administration official said, stressing that the restrictions on crossings would be implemented by mutual agreement. The restrictions would essentially halt tourism, another official told Bloomberg News.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the country would close its borders to international travel with the sole exception being to the U.S., which was “in a separate category” from other nations due to Canada’s close economic ties with the U.S. (Trudeau is currently working in self-quarantine after his wife Sophie tested positive for the coronavirus.)
The coronavirus pandemic has driven nations across the world to severely restrict travel. The U.S. has implemented entry bans on foreigners recently returning from China, the original epicenter of the outbreak, and more recently on foreigners from the European Union’s Schengen zone.
On Tuesday the Trump administration said it would also immediately deport any illegal immigrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, without moving them to detention, due to the Border Patrol’s fear of a potential coronavirus outbreak in its detention facilities.