WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced the near closure of the Canadian border Wednesday, adding to severe coronavirus-related travel restrictions already affecting Asia and much of Europe.
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!” Trump tweeted.
The travel restrictions show the fast-moving threat from the new strain of coronavirus have severely curtailed international travel. Trump has also discouraged non-essential domestic travel and has said he is considering actions that could halt it entirely.
The administration is currently negotiating with congress on a stimulus bill that could exceed $1 trillion, with a large portion devoted to the airline industry, one of the most battered segments of the coronavirus economy.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik released a statement saying she had spoken directly with Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to urge him to exempt hospital and healthcare workers on NAFTA visas.
“I just got off the phone with Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Wolf,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Hospital and healthcare workers on NAFTA visas will be exempt from the border closure and can continue their important work serving North Country hospitals and communities. We are grateful for their public service providing medical care.”