US and Canada close border to nonessential travel

Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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The U.S. and Canada agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel due to COVID-19.

President Trump says the decision will not affect the flow of trade between the two nations.

Both countries are eager to choke off the spread of the virus but also to maintain their vital economic relationship.

Canada relies on the U.S. for 75% of its exports. About 18% of American exports go to Canada.

"Neither country wants to collapse the economies of our two countries together and that's not only considered essential but considered low risk. If you have a single trucker, driving a truck and dropping something off at a loading dock and returning, that's not raising a serious risk in terms of transmission," said Garry Douglas of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Those who work in the health care industry are exempt from this new order. Douglas says other exemptions will be announced in the coming days.

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