Canada and the U.S. are reaching a mutual agreement to temporarily close the border.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that non-essential travel will be restricted from entering both countries to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Supply chains that deliver food, fuel, and medicine will be allowed to cross the border. In a tweet, President Donald Trump says trade will not be impacted.
Trudeau says these measures would be in place as long as they need to be and that he’s not ruling out banning domestic travel as well as the situation develops.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 44 million trips were taken by Canadians to the United States in 2019.
Meanwhile, the federal government is providing $82 billion to help the Canadian economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around $27 billion will go directly to workers and businesses.
They are launching the ‘Emergency Care Benefit’ program for people who don’t have employment insurance or access to paid sick leave. This will provide money, comparable to what someone would get in EI, for people who have to stay home.
They’re also setting up an ‘Emergency Support Benefit’ to help the self-employed who have to close down due to the virus.
Additional programs are also being introduced.
The remaining $55 billion will go towards tax deferrals.
These funds represent around three per cent of the country’s GDP.