US-Canada border to close amid virus crisis

US-Canada border to close amid virus crisis
The border closing will not affect trade. Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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Daily US Times, Washington: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump have agreed to close the US-Canada border to all non-essential travel as part of combating the current coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump tweeted “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada,” adding that trade would not be affected.

Both countries have previously implemented heavy travel ban but had maintained exemptions for each other.

Canada relies on the US for approximately 75% of its exports, though the measure will not affect the export but will affect shoppers and tourists.

Mr Trudeau had previously resisted closing the border with America.

“Nearly 200,000 people cross that border every day,” said Trudeau’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday ”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.”

“We get our groceries thanks to truckers who drive back and forth across that border. Very urgently needed medical supplies and medicines go back and forth across that border. And essential workers go back and forth across that border every day.”

It is estimated that approximately $2bn in goods and services crosses the US-Canada border each day.

The novel coronavirus has hit the countries.

All the 50 states of the US has hit by the virus and so far 6,496 people have been confirmed across the country, with 114 deaths.

Canada has 598 confirmed cases, with eight deaths.

White House postpones state dinner for Spanish royals

The White House postponed the expected state dinner for Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia due to concerns of coronavirus. This could be the third state dinner of the Trump administration.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham says in a statement that the April 21 official state visit of Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia has been postponed in its entirety.

The statement reads: “President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump look forward to welcoming Their Majesties to the United States and the White House in the near future. The United States will continue to work with Spain and all of our European partners to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Grisham said, adding that postponing will allow both countries to “devote their full resources and attention to the COVID-19 response.”

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