Canada Restricts Border Entries

Trudeau March 16 2020

CBJ — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the country is closing its borders to non-Canadian citizens, with the exception of immediate family members, permanent residents, diplomats, air crews, and American citizens.

The latest move is an effort to slow the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic and “flatten the curve” of the spread of the virus as has been repeated many times over the past 48 hours. Meanwhile, the Canadian death toll has now risen to four on word today that three more people have died. Each of the deaths were in British Columbia.

Trudeau made the statements while in self-isolation at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa with his wife and children.

Coming soon will be an announcement of further flight restrictions. Canadians currently abroad are being strongly encouraged to return home as quickly as possible or run the risk of being stranded overseas for an undetermined amount of time.  Flights coming from international destinations will be limited to landing in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver where advanced screening testing will be in place.

Schools are closed while sports and entertainment events have all been postponed.  More Canadians are spending time at home, with businesses allowing some employees to work from home, as a means of promoting social distancing or self-isolating.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, and Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam also made statements today.

Parliament in Ottawa has been suspended for five weeks at which time the situation will be reevaluated.

The federal government has announced a $1-billion health and economic response package, as well as $10 billion for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

At last count there were 407 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Canada with the death toll now having risen to four.  All four deaths have been in British Columbia. The first death was an elderly man who had preexisting health issues and was living in a long-term care facility in British Columbia. Details of the three additional deaths, announced Monday afternoon, are not yet known.