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


President Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. and Canada had agreed to close their border to non-essential travel as the two countries seek to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.

"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.

Specifics of the closure were not immediately available, but the new restrictions are likely to affect non-citizens traveling between the two countries.

Trump hinted on Tuesday that a potential border closure with Canada and Mexico was being discussed at the White House as officials seek to further limit the transmission of the coronavirus.

Trump's tweet on Wednesday made clear that trade between the two nations will not be impacted. The president last week caused significant confusion when he initially said that trade with Europe would be halted due to travel restrictions, forcing him to issue a correcting tweet.

The U.S. has restricted travel from large swaths of the world in an effort to curb the number of non-citizens entering the country who may be carrying COVID-19. Trump previously issued orders to stop flights into the country from China, South Korea and all of Europe.

The total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide surpassed 200,000 on Wednesday, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 6,500 cases in the U.S., and more than 100 Americans have died from the virus.

Canada has roughly 600 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins, and fewer than 10 deaths as of Wednesday morning.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been quarantined in his home in recent days after his wife tested positive for the virus.

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