Canada closes border to noncitizens amid coronavirus; Americans exempt, Trudeau says

Canada will close its borders to noncitizens and permanent residents, with the exception of Americans and a few diplomats, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau also said Canadians not in the country should come home immediately and isolate themselves for 14 days once they arrive to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Only four Canadian airports are accepting international flights -- Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver --  and the government is mandating airlines to screen passengers for symptoms of the virus before allowing anyone on board.

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"As the virus continues its spread, we’ve decided to take increasingly aggressive steps to keep you and your family safe,” Trudeau said during a press conference.

He said Americans would be exempt from the ban despite a surge in cases in the U.S. that has prompted tough travel restrictions and measures at the federal, state and local levels.

"We recognize that the level of integration of our two economies and the coordination that we've had over the past while puts the U.S. in a separate category from the rest of the world," he said.

Canada has at least 324 coronavirus cases as of Monday across its 10 provinces. Trudeau spoke from his residence in Ottawa where he is in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie, tested positive for the illness last week.

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Canadian officials announced three more deaths in British Columbia Monday. Canada recorded its first death from the virus last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.