On Wednesday, March 18, 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 closed?
A. Canada and the United States 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 20. Essential travel such as cargo, health responders and flight crew are exempt. Canadian citizens will be able to get home, although the government says travelers presenting symptoms won't be able to board flights.
Q. What do we know so far?
A. Travelers 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 travelers 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 Canada, can I go home to the U.S.?
A. American citizens will be able to get home, although the government says travelers presenting symptoms won't be able to board flights.
Q. When will the Canada-U.S. 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.
Q. Who can't come into the U.S. now?
A.The President did not discuss specifics about the new Canada restrictions as of Wednesday morning, March 18, but there is a growing list of other countries' citizens who are unable to enter the U.S. at this time.
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.
Australia's travel advisory is Level 4 - do not travel overseas at this time. They are also urging their citizens to return home at this time where they must self-isolate for 14 days
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British citizens against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
Need help with your travel program during COVID-19? We're here to help.