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Canada Closing Borders To Non-Citizens, Americans Exempted

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada speaks on the first day of the Munic...

Photo by Jens Meyer / AP

Above: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada speaks on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will close the country's borders to anyone not a citizen, an American or a permanent resident — and even they have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival — due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trudeau said Canadians who are not in Canada need to come home immediately and he said they must isolate themselves for 14 days after they arrive.

He also said those already in the country, "as much as possible should stay home." He spoke outside his residence, where he is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Trudeau said his government based its decisions on science and public health recommendation but said Americans would be exempted despite cases surging in the U.S.

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“We recognize that the level of integration of our two economies," he said.

The U.S. is by far Canada's largest trading partner — accounting for 75% of the country's exports. Trudeau has spoken to U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days.

He said the country is taking "increasingly aggressive steps" to keep everyone safe.

The government is also restricting overseas flights to just four airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, and mandating airlines to screen passengers for symptoms of the virus before allowing anyone to board a plane.

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada more than doubled since Friday, including 32 new confirmed cases in Ontario on Monday.

Trudeau said "we can still slow the spread of this virus" but it will take a major adjustment from everyone.

Officials in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia also announced three more deaths. Canada recorded its first death last week.

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