The borders that separate the U.S. and Canada will now be closed for non-essential travel, with President Donald Trump and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau coming to an agreement to try even harder to stem the rise in COVID-19 cases in both countries.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter, maintaining that the move would not impact the flow of trade between countries.
“Over the past few days, I’ve spoken to President Trump about what we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19. This morning and we have agreed that both Canada and the United States will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada U.S. border,” said Trudeau. “Travelers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism in both our countries. We’re encouraging people to stay home. We’re telling our citizens not to visit their neighbors if they don’t absolutely have to.”
In the U.S., the Trump administration has invoked a federal provision that allows the government to marshal the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will be invoking the defense production act, just in case we need it. In other words, I think you all know what it is. And it can do a lot of good things if we need it.”
Trump added that they are preparing hospital ships to be sent to New York City and another one to the West Coast.
Trump also announced the government is taking further steps to expand testing capacity, working with several groups to determine if the self swabbing could be a much easier process than the current process.
Trump reiterated that all these efforts entail mutual sacrifice to succeed and save lives.
From the latest tally from the Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. now has more than 7,300 cases of COVID-19 that have resulted in 115 deaths.