Canada is closing its borders to non-citizens and non-residents, restricting international arrivals to four airports and requiring airlines to bar passengers who present with symptoms of the coronavirus from boarding.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the wide-sweeping restrictions at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Americans are currently exempt from the travel ban. The restrictions will not apply to commerce or trade.
International arrivals from the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean will be restricted to Canada’s four busiest airports; Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, Calgary International and Vancouver International Airport.
Trudeau also urged Canadians who are currently abroad to return.
The announcement came shortly after Air Canada said it would slash capacity and reduce its workforce as the coronavirus pandemic cuts into air travel demand around the world.
Air Canada said it will cut capacity by 50 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to the “severe drop” in traffic. Routes serving the Pacific market will see capacity reduced by approximately 75 percent for the month of April.
The airline has also joined a list of global carriers calling on governments to provide assistance and support that will alleviate the “existential threat” posed by the coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
More to come.