International

US and Canada preparing to suspend non-essential travel between the 2 countries

President Donald Trump walks toward the White House residence after exiting Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House March 9, 2020, in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The United States and Canada are preparing to issue a joint statement in the next 24-48 hours to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries, a Trump administration official tells CNN.

The agreement is not yet finalized and officials are still working to define “non-essential travel,” but the official stressed that the new restrictions will ensure that business and trade between the two countries can continue.

The joint agreement would be the latest effort by the US and Canada to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, following decisions by both countries to restrict some international travel.

Part of the discussions involve what types of vehicles and individuals would still be allowed to travel between the two countries and for what purpose, the official said. The restrictions will likely allow for significant flexibility.

Unlike travel restrictions on Europe and China, this would be a mutual agreement between the two countries.

“The Canadians have been our friends throughout this and many other crises, and they continue to be honest brokers,” the official said.

When Trump was asked at the coronavirus task force briefing whether he was considering closing the US land borders on Tuesday, he said, “I don’t want to say that, but we are discussing things with Canada and we’re discussing things with Mexico, quite honestly, and again, the relationship is outstanding with both, outstanding. We just signed our deal, the USMCA, and the relationship is very strong.”

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