As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada is closing its borders to all people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, as part of the federal government’s latest set of measures to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the new measure to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Canada does not include US citizens.
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Trudeau addressed the nation on Monday from his self-isolation at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, updating Canadians on the measures the country is taking to further combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airlines will ban anyone with symptoms from entering the country and there will be assistance programs in place for people who have to wait to return if they’re symptomatic.
The prime minister said starting Wednesday, only Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Montreal Trudeau, Vancouver International Airport, and Calgary International Airport will accept international flights. “These measures will help save lives,” said Trudeau.
During his address, Trudeau said no one who is displaying symptoms will be permitted to board a flight to Canada, and that air operators will now be required to complete a basic health assessment of every passenger based on guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“I know this news will spark concern among Canadians travelling abroad. I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported,” he said.
Trudeau added the federal government will also financially assist Canadians abroad who are having trouble coming home, by providing money either to book a flight or pay for their accommodation wherever they are.
Additionally, the flow of trade and commerce will not be affected by these latest steps, the prime minister said.
This comes as the number of known coronavirus cases in Ontario continues to progressively increase, with officials confirming 177 cases as of Monday, March 16.
You can stay up to date with all the current cases both in the province and in Toronto here as well as find an updated list of everything that’s been cancelled or postponed thus far due to the coronavirus outbreak here.