“I know that these measures are far-reaching,” Trudeau said. “They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures.”
Trudeau said the restrictions will come into effect Wednesday but that exceptions will be made for air crews, diplomats, immediate family members and U.S. citizens.
“Canadian travellers 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,” Trudeau said.
Third, Trudeau said only four Canadian airports will receive international flights.
According to Trudeau, Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Vancouver International Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport will receive international flights.
He said domestic flights and flights from the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean will not be affected and that the measures do not apply to commerce or trade.
Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland, who also spoke at the conference, was unable to specifically state why U.S. citizens were not barred from entering the country, but said that when it came to the Canada-U.S. border “we need to act with real care, with real delicacy and with real precision.”
Trudeau also reiterated the government’s recommendation that Canadians abroad return home via commercial means while they remain available.
“Let me be clear: if you are abroad, it’s time for you to come home,” he said. “If you have just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
When asked by reporters about the decision to close the borders, Trudeau said we have “now come to a point where the best advice from public health officials is that additional border measures on top of the social distancing measures that we are encouraging domestically is the right combination to move forward now.”
United States President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he was not considering closing the Canada-U.S. border at this time, but also did not rule it out indefinitely.
Mexico, ironically, is also considering closing their borders, after years of whining about Trump wanting to shut down U.S. borders.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.