In an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced strict border restrictions Monday that will see Canada limit who is able to enter the country. Air crews, diplomats, immediate family of Canadian citizens and United States citizens will be exempted from the lockdown.
Canada will reroute all global flight arrivals to four airports - Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver - and has imposed tougher screening.
At this time, Trudeau said the measure doesn't apply to U.S. citizens or to flights coming from Mexico and the Caribbean. "If you have just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days".
The measures announced Monday include redirecting all flights from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa to four Canadian airports after a weekend of disarray that saw many travellers report customs officials were not routinely providing direction to new arrivals.
He also asked Canadians to say home as much as possible amid the pandemic.
Anyone displaying symptoms of the coronavirus, however, will be denied entry.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canada-U.S. border is a "lifeline", and "absolutely vital to the daily life of people who live on both sides".
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According to Johns Hopkins University, there are around 375 cases of coronavirus, which first emerged in China past year, in Canada.
Trudeau said his government based its decisions on science and public health recommendations, but said Americans wouldn't be exempted despite cases surging in the US.
"We are reacting in real time", said Gudgel.
Since 1867, the Canadian Medical Association has been the national voice of Canada's medical profession.
Tam said tests are being prioritized for certain types of cases: Travellers who have symptoms; those with severe respiratory illness, regardless of whether they've travelled; people in long-term care facilities with influenza-like illness; and hospital-related illness, including health-care workers who are sick.
The Prime Minister spoke from his home, as he remains in self-isolation after his wife was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Four people in Canada have died of COVID-19, while provincial authorities had reported another 403 confirmed cases by Monday afternoon, as well as 15 presumptive cases.
The move to close its borders contrasts with previous comments from the country's health minister, Patty Hajdu, who rejected the idea on Friday.