On Wednesday, March 18th, President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada-U.S. border would be shutting down for non-essential travel until further notice. We will be updating this FAQ as more details are released.
Q. Is the Canada-U.S. border closing?
A. The United States and Canada have mutually agreed to close the border temporarily for non-essential travel to help slow the spread of COVID-19 – this came into effect at midnight on Friday, March 20th. Essential travel such as cargo, health responders and flight crew are exempt. Canadian citizens will be able to get home, although the government says travellers presenting symptoms won't be able to board flights.
Q. What do we know so far?
A. Travellers will no longer be able to cross the border for recreational and tourism purposes. "These measures will last in place as long as we feel they need to last” relayed Prime Minister Trudeau.
Q. Is the trade industry affected?
A. No. Supply chains including trucking will not be affected. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel and life-saving medications reach people on both sides of the border.
Q. Why is the border closure happening now?
A.. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, “We took major measures on Monday (3/16) to close off our borders to international travellers and we took two days to coordinate this further measure with the United States to ensure that we do it properly and in cooperation with each other." Extra travel right now, based on government guidance, could be a hindrance to public health in stopping the spread of the virus. In both the U.S. and Canada, people are encouraged to stay home.
Q. Can anyone still cross the border? What if there is an emergency?
A.Crossing the border for essential traffic such as going to work or other urgent reasons will not be affected.
Q. If I’m in the U.S. can I go home to Canada?
A. Canadian citizens will be able to get home, although the government says travellers presenting symptoms won't be able to board flights.
Q. When will the US-Canada border reopen?
A. Right now, it's unclear. Trudeau has stated, “These measures will last in place as long as we feel that they need to last," adding that Canada and the U.S. will closely coordinate.
Other Notable Advisories/Border Closures
As a global company, we are in daily contact with our global offices as they are prime locales for business travel. Here are some updates on their borders and travel advisories.
United Kingdom: The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.