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US, Canada agree to close border to non-essential traffic

Washington, March 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close US-Canada border to “non-essential traffic” amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our northern border with Canada,” Xinhua quoted Trump as saying in a tweet on Wednesday.

Trade between the two countries will not be affected by the border closure, Trump said in another tweet.

At a later White House briefing, Trump noted that he has spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying “we want to isolate from the standpoint, we don't want people coming into contact”.

“It was something we thought would be good for both countries,” he added.

The US government announced several travel restrictions as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across North America and Europe.

The travel ban that Washington imposed on 26 European nations has been effective since the midnight of March 13 On Saturday, and the White House added Britain and Ireland to the list.

More than 7,300 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the US as of Wednesday noon, with at least 115 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

–IANS

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