Canada, U.S. working on deal to close border to non-essential travel: Ottawa source

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada and the United States are working on a deal to close their joint border to non-essential travel as part of the fight against a coronavirus outbreak, a Canadian government source said on Wednesday.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the flow of goods between the two nations – which share one of the world’s largest bilateral trading relationships – would continue.

The deal still needs to be completed and may not be ready in time to be announced on Wednesday, said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

The news was first reported by CNN.

Ottawa closed the borders to most foreign nationals on Monday but excluded U.S. citizens.

This upset the Pacific province of British Columbia – directly to the north of Washington state, one of the worst-hit spots in the United States – which pushed for American visitors to be banned.

The U.S. and Canadian economies are highly integrated and a strict ban on border crossing would cause major problems for the auto sector as well as the transportation of food and medicines.

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