With more changes being brought about by the Coronavirus Crisis, Detroits oh-so-close neighbor Canada has become the latest country to mostly close their border. In an address to the nation, Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would be closing its borders to all who are not Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
The announcement does come with exceptions, though, as the border closure does not include U.S. citizens, diplomats, aircrew, and immediate family members of Canadain citizens. The Prime Minister also announced that as of March 18, incoming flights to Canada would only be permitted at the International airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The announcement comes amid a continued rise in cases of COVID-19 throughout the nation.
“I know this news will spark concern among Canadians traveling abroad. I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported,” shared Trudeau. “To help asymptomatic Canadians to return home, our government will set up a support program for Canadians who need to get on a plane. Canadian travelers will be able to get financial assistance to help them with the costs of returning home or temporarily covering basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada.”
An important note on the border closings is that it will not apply to matters of trade and commerce, a good sign for cities like Detroit that have deep economic ties with Canada. Americans and others that are let into the country any airport will be asked if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing or fever and will also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they are arriving from an international location, a move undertaken in the past week by countries such as New Zealand.
#COVID19: New enhanced measures continue to be added at all of #Canada‘s international airports including these new screening questions for ALL travellers arriving from ANY international destination. #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/kGZaDPt28N
— Canada Border Services Agency (@CanBorder) March 16, 2020
Other measures of the Canadian border closings include enhanced officer presence at significant points of entry, including both the Windsor Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge, incoming visitors will be asked to fill out a PHAC coronavirus form, which will help health authorities monitor and track people suspected of having the virus and those “of concern” will be given mask “kits” which include a surgical mask and a booklet on how to wear it properly.
The Canadian and American health professionals will provide further updates about the spread of COVID-19 as they are available. In the meantime, practice social distancing, wash your hands and do not under any circumstances go to public events.