The U.S./Canada border has remained open despite measures by both countries to block and limit international flights and mobility in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but that is changing today as the two countries have agreed, “by mutual consent,” to suspend any movement between the two beyond “essential traffic” and “trade,” as first revealed via President Donald Trump on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Canada announced during a press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it would be closing its borders to all non-citizens and residents, with the exception of American citizens. He was asked multiple times during the Q&A session at that briefing about why the U.S. was exempted, given that the rate of new cases in the U.S. was now large and growing larger at a rapid pace.
Trudeau said that closing the border to the U.S. was still on the table as an option, but emphasized the intertwined nature of the economies of both countries as one key factor in why they were not included in the original travel limitations. The exception for traffic deemed “essential” as well as for trade transportation between the two countries in the measures announced by Trump today appear to be an attempt to keep at least part of that economic activity intact.
We don’t yet know the extent of the border closure, or what will qualify as “essential” travel between Canada and the U.S. in detail, so stay tuned as we learn more about this latest travel restriction development.