Canadian prime minister announces border closure to limit spread of novel coronavirus | KNKX

Canadian prime minister announces border closure to limit spread of novel coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020

Officials in British Columbia are telling United States travelers to stay away, despite the Canadian government leaving the international border open. This is the latest response in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is closing the Canadian border this Wednesday to anybody who is not a citizen, permanent resident, flight crew member, diplomat, or from the United States.

Despite this, British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix is nonetheless asking people from the U.S. to stay away.  He says this is because of the concentrated outbreak in the greater Seattle area.

“We remain concerned that access from visitors from the United States continues to be allowed, given the situation particularly in King and Snohomish County in Washington state, which affects British Columbia more than anyone else,” Dix said. “It's our strong view. And it's our strong message that visitors from the United States not come to British Columbia.”

Any current or future restrictions against travel do not include the commercial shipments of goods. Trudeau also is asking Canadians traveling outside the country to come home.  International flights will only be allowed to land in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.  Anybody showing signs of COVID-19 will not be allowed in the country. Everybody returning will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

As of late Monday, Canadian media were reporting at least 441 people with the novel coronavirus across Canada. B.C. had 103 known cases of the coronavirus and four deaths. Those fatalities were all from the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Four of Monday’s new reported cases were related to a dental conference that was held in Vancouver on March 6 and 7.

Gatherings are now limited to fewer than 50 people and all casinos are being closed across the province of British Columbia.