US-Canada border closing temporarily to nonessential travel

The United States and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, and his administration is considering turning back all people who cross illegally from Mexico into the U.S., two administration officials said.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 12:30 PM

The United States and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, and his administration is considering turning back all people who cross illegally from Mexico into the U.S., two administration officials said.

Trump tweeted that the restrictions on the Canadian border will not affect the flow of trade between the countries, which are eager to maintain their vital economic relationship. Canada relies on the U.S. for 75% of its exports and about 18% of American exports go to Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said travelers will no longer be able permitted to cross the border for recreation or tourism, but that essential travel will continue.

“It is critical that we preserve supply chains between both countries,” Trudeau said. “These supply chains ensure that food, fuel and life saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border.”

Trudeau made his comments in front of his residence where he is self -isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Truck drivers and Canadian snowbirds, who live in the U.S. for part of the year and are returning to Canada, are among those exempted. Completely closing the border would cause severe damage to two economies so closely integrated. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S., and and 98% of its oil exports go to the U.S.

The United States has seen about 6,500 coronavirus cases and more than 110 deaths, compared with about 600 cases and eight deaths in Canada.

No final decisions have been made about the changes under consideration for the Mexican border, according to the Trump administration officials. The administration sees Mexico’s efforts to check the spread of the virus as among the weakest in the Americas.

The officials said Trump would use powers available during emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic to undertake what would be one of the most aggressive attempts to curtail illegal immigration. If the U.S. surgeon general determined there was a “serious danger” of bringing a communicable disease to the United States, then Trump could rely on a law giving him authority to deny entry to people or to reject cargo, the officials said.

There were more than 851,000 arrests for crossing from Mexico into the U.S. during the budget year that ended Sept. 30. The policy being considered would not apply to asylum-seekers who present themselves at land ports of entry, the officials said.

They were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly because the plan has not been announced, and they spoke on condition of anonymity.

The situation at Canada’s border came into focus Monday when Trudeau said that he would close the country’s borders to anyone who was not a Canadian citizen, an American or a permanent resident. Even then, those people are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the border is vital to the daily life to people on both sides.

“Nearly 200,000 people cross that border every day, and that border and that traffic that goes across that border is literally a lifeline for both the Canadians and the Americans on both sides of that border,″ Freeland said.

But many in Canada criticized the decision to give Americans an exemption, including British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix, citing the surge in cases in neighboring Washington state.

Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto, said the government-to-government accord merely ratifies what is already in place.

“Tourism in the age of the coronavirus is a contradiction in terms,” Bothwell said. “And no Canadian in his or her right mind would want to be caught with the virus on the U.S. side of the border, given the predatory U.S. medical pricing system. Actually, the insurance companies have already taken care of the problem. Many of us have received notices that they will not pay for virus treatment south of the border.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks while those with more severe illness may take three weeks to six weeks to recover.

___

Gillies reported from Toronto and Spagat from San Diego. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 115833

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook753063519
Lake7933281
DuPage7460350
Kane6083167
Will5356268
Winnebago209153
McHenry148870
St. Clair105077
Kankakee83644
Kendall75119
Rock Island63923
Champaign5957
Madison54557
Boone42416
DeKalb3704
Sangamon34328
Randolph2674
Jackson25610
McLean21613
Ogle2002
Stephenson1992
Macon19219
Peoria1918
Out of IL1831
Clinton18017
Union1519
Unassigned1490
LaSalle14113
Whiteside13412
Iroquois1314
Coles12313
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox960
Grundy952
Monroe9311
McDonough847
Lee791
Tazewell704
Cass690
Henry670
Williamson602
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin442
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion381
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard190
Mason180
Washington180
Woodford182
Hancock160
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 67°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 66°
Rockville
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 64°
Casey
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 65°
Brazil
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Marshall
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Showers Early, Cooler
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events