Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerged from his home where he is self-isolating on Monday, addressing Canada about the novel COVID-19 virus which has is growing exponentially in several parts of the world. Trudeau announced that he will close the border to those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Previous responses to the virus included creating a cabinet committee to help create strategies
Additionally, earlier on Monday, Canadian parliament granted cabinet wartime spending power for the next ninety days, including giving cabinet the power to spend at will in the form of the Act To Amend The Financial Administration Act.
One of the chief concerns both to the public and the media was regarding Canada's vital boarder with the United States, Canada's largest trading partner and ally, with cases south of the border growing exponentially.
The prime minister arrived at the podium over half an hour after the penned start time, despite the press conference being held only footsteps away from his Ottawa residency.
"From the very beginning of the outbreak, our government has taken the necessary measures, based on science, and safety," stated Trudeau.
'We will be denying entrance to Canada to people who are not Citizens or permanent residents of Canada," said Trudeau, designated exceptions include air crews, diplomats, and immediately family members of Canadian citizens.
Second: Airlines will receive formal order to ban all travelers presenting symptoms of COVID-19 from getting on an airplane. Air operators will do a basic assessment of passengers health based on public health agency standards.
People who are displaying symptoms will not be able to enter Canada.
Trudeau also assured that the Canadian government would help asymptomatic Canadians abroad with a support program, as well as granting financial assistance to help them with basic needs while waiting to return to Canada.
Third, Trudeau announced that four Canadian airports would receive international flights: Pearson Toronto, Montreal Trudeau, the International Vancouver Airport, and the Calgary International Airport. Domestic flights will not be affected by this measures. This measure will not affect trade of important goods.
In 2019 alone, 7.5 million travellers came to Canada from countries not including the United States.
For the time being, US citizens will be exempt from the border closure at the Canadian border. When asked why the United States was exempt, Trudeau cited the integration of the US and Canadian economy, despite international criticism of the United States's handling of the outbreak.
On Thursday of last week, it was confirmed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife of 14 years, Sophie Gregoir, had tested positive for coronavirus. Trudeau has been in self isolation since then, but because he has not shown symptoms, he has not been tested.