US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close the US-Canada border to all non-essential travel in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Both countries had already issued sweeping travel bans but had maintained exemptions for each other. The two leaders discussed the changes on Wednesday
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our northern border with Canada,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“I want to be clear though that essential travel will still continue,” Mr Trudeau said at a press conference.
“No matter who you are or what you do, this is a time when you should be focused on your health and that of your neighbours. Not: are you going to lose your job, are you going to run out of money for food or medications.”
Details of the final deal have yet to be released in writing but both leaders have stressed that cross-border trade will not be blocked.
Supply chains must be preserved so trucking would not be affected, Mr Trudeau said.
About $2bn in goods and services crosses the US-Canada border each day. Canada relies on the US for approximately 75% of its exports.
Canadians who needed to travel for other “urgent reasons” would also not be impacted, Mr Trudeau said.
No timeframe has been set for how long the border closure will last.