UPDATE 3/20/20: President Trump announced that he would be temporarily closing the U.S./Mexico border starting Saturday, March 21st in an effort to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. Commercial goods arriving via rail and truck are exempt, as are “essential” personnel, lawful permanent residents and those with legal work permits.
On Wednesday March 19th President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the U.S./Canadian border would close to non-essential travel in response to the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus. This closing does not apply to trade goods that pass between the two countries.
There is no timeframe for how long this closing will last, though President Trump did mention at the press briefing on this news that they expect the closing period to initially be 30-days, however we are still waiting on confirmation of this detail. Prime Minister Trudeau did assure Canadians that those whose reason for travel is urgent or essential will still continue.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated on Thursday that the closure appears likely to go into effect late Friday night or early Saturday morning. It is not at all clear how long it will last, or which travellers will be considered essential. Trudeau has also stated that Canadian citizens will be allowed to cross the closed border to return home.
This news comes as various countries shut down non-essential travel or all travel in an effort to contain and stop the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. The United States has halted all travel from various European countries with very few exemptions granted for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, as well as certain visa classes.
We are paying close attention to these updates and will provide more information as they become available.