Sault Ste. Marie residents react to border closure
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Canada and the United States are restricting non-essential travel across the border, in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision Wednesday morning, preventing all tourists and visitors from crossing the border.
"I think it’s a good thing for Canada," said Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Christian Provenzano.
"I think it’s much more likely that COVID-19 cases will come from the U-S, than COVID-19 cases travel from Canada to the U.S."
On Monday, the federal government announced it would be banning all non-citizens from traveling into Canada, excluding U.S. citizens.
It also said all international flights would be rerouted to four different airports across the country.
Those restrictions went into effect, Wednesday morning.
"If we slow the spread, that would be beneficial for the entire community, the province and the country," said Provenzano.
"Then we can get to focusing on some of the other issues that obviously, people are going to be impacted by, like the toll this is taking on our economy."
Several residents, who spoke with CTV news, said the move by Canada and the U.S. to restrict non-essential travel is a good one.
"It’s a good idea until we know a little bit more about how the virus is spread and how to contain it," said Bonnie Dupuis.
"For non-essential, I agree with them totally, it should’ve been done a lot sooner. Myself, I have children that live in the states and I’m going to have to visit them online I guess, Facebook and talk to them there," added Mike Luzzi.
Shipments, trade and commerce will not be affected by the restrictions, but the federal government is discussing the possibility of invoking the emergencies act.
That would allow the government to regulate the movement of both people and goods within Canada, during a time of emergency.
When asked when these new restrictions would begin, the Prime Mister said that remains unclear.