President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S.-Canada border would be closed to non-essential travelers as the coronavirus epidemic worsened in both countries – but said trade would not be affected.
The shutdown was based on Trump's blocking visitors from most parts of Europe, China and other parts of the world, as the number of confirmed virus cases in the US rose to over 6,500 with 115 deaths.
By mutual agreement, we will temporarily block our northern border with Canada from non-essential traffic. The trade is not affected. Details following!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), March 18, 2020
"By mutual agreement, we will temporarily block our northern border with Canada from non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details will follow!" Trump tweeted.
Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should make an announcement on the subject without giving any details.
"What the Prime Minister will announce will reassure people," he said in an interview with Radio Canada public broadcaster.
Champagne promised new measures "proposed by both sides" and found that hundreds of thousands of people cross the border every day.
On Monday, Trudeau announced that Canada would close its borders to foreign travelers except Americans – a position that has raised criticism in Canada.
By Wednesday morning, Canada had approximately 600 confirmed coronavirus cases and eight deaths.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)