Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that Canada will be closing its borders to anyone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident. Trudeau said there will be exceptions such as families of Canadian citizens and U.S. citizens.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: Take increasingly aggressive steps to keep you and your family safe. First, we will be denying entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens, or permanent residents. This measure will carve out some designated exceptions, including for air crews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, and at this time, US citizens. Second, air operators will be formally mandated to prevent all travelers who present symptoms of COVID-19 to board a plane. Air operators will be required to complete a basic health assessment of every air traveler, based on guidance from the public health agency of Canada. This means that anyone who has symptoms will not be able to come to Canada. I know this news will spark concern among Canadians traveling abroad. I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported. To help asymptomatic Canadians 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 their basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada. Third, starting Wednesday, March 18th, only four Canadian airports will be accepting international flights: Toronto Pearson, Montreal Trudeau, Vancouver International Airport, and Calgary International Airport. At this time, domestic flights as well as flights coming from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and [foreign language 00:03:50] will not be affected. The travel restrictions announced today will not apply to commerce or trade. We will continue to ensure the supply of important goods to Canada. I know that these measures are far reaching. They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures. Earlier today, I had a call with our G7 partners to inform them of these important changes. From the very beginning, Canada’s response has been based on the latest available science and advice from our world-class health professionals. Today’s announcement is no different. These measures will help save lives.