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Trump says U.S.-Canada border closed to "non-essential traffic" over coronavirus

The impact of coronavirus restrictions
The impact of coronavirus restrictions 04:38

Washington — President Trump said the U.S. and Canada will block "non-essential traffic" from traveling across the northern border as the administration looks for ways to prevent new introductions of the coronavirus into the U.S. The president announced the news in a tweet. Canada has already closed its borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens. 

"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!" the president wrote Wednesday morning. 

U.S. stocks plunged after the opening bell Wednesday as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. soars and cities and states take more stringent steps to restrict movement and the congregation of large groups. 

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump didn't rule out the possibility of a border closure with Canada. Sophie Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is among those who have tested positive for the virus, and the prime minister has placed himself under self-quarantine. 

"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," Mr. Trump said during a Coronavirus Task Force briefing Tuesday. 

The Senate is expected to vote soon on a "phase two" coronavirus response bill that has already passed the House, and lawmakers and Trump administration are considering an even larger relief package, which could involve sending checks to Americans hit hardest by the virus. 

"We're going big," the president told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

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