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US, Canada to temporarily close shared border to nonessential travel, President Trump says

The US and Canada are eager to choke off the spread of the coronavirus but also maintain their vital economic relationship.

The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel, President Donald Trump made that announcement Wednesday on Twitter as the two nations work to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump says the decision will not affect the flow of trade between the countries. 

Trump writes that "We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic." 

Both countries are eager to choke off the spread of the virus but also maintain their vital economic relationship. 

Canada relies on the U.S. for 75% of its exports. About 18% of American exports go to Canada. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during an address to the nation Wednesday that supply chains will not be impacted by the temporary border closing. 

He urged all Canadians to work from home, if they can. 

Trudeau also announced an $82 billion economic plan, which reflects 3% of Canada's GDP. 

On Monday, Canada said it would be closing its border to non-Canadian citizens or permanent residents, but at the time Americans were exempt.  

Officials at Johns Hopkins University say the virus has now infected more than 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,000. 

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They also said more than 82,000 people recovered from the virus, which causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people, although severe illness is more likely in the elderly and those with existing health problems.  

As of Tuesday, more than 100 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.  

Credit: AP
Vehicles enter the United States as a minivan drives to Canada in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in Detroit, Monday, March 16, 2020.