Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has announced that the joint border closure between Canada and the United States will take place on Friday night.
The announcement was first made on Wednesday when President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that travellers would no longer be permitted to travel for recreational or tourism purposes.
Blair says that the closure will officially start at 11:59 pm on Friday.
“We have over the past few weeks announced progressive and significant measures to restrict travel across our borders,” he says during a press conference. “These decisions, I want to assure everyone, have not been made lightly.”
“We have entered into an agreement with our most important ally and partner, the United States, a reciprocal agreement to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-US border.”
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Blair adds that they’ve also seen “a significant decline over the past 24 hours in non-essential travel over the border.”
He acknowledged the indigenous communities “which often exist on both sides of the border” and states that their right to travel will be unimpeded during this restriction. He also said that that they will ensure that access continues for Canadians and Americans who cross the border for work.
Trucking and trade will not be affected by this measure.
“Canadians and Americans cross the border each and every day to do essential work,” he noted. “We acknowledge the importance of that work and we’re going to ensure that we facilitate the crossing of the border so that they can continue to do the jobs that keep Canadians and Americans healthy and safe.”
Blair says that maintaining trades between the two countries is also essential for Canada’s economic recovery.
According to Trudeau, the border will be closed for as long as it needs to be.