Trump announces the US will temporarily close its border with Canada to all 'non-essential traffic'


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President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US will temporarily shut down its border with Canada to all "non-essential traffic."

"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.

Trump's announcement comes as the novel coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, continues sweeping across the globe. The World Health Organization classified the coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11.

To date, more than 204,000 people have been infected and 8,244 have died. In the US, at least 5,881 people across every state, plus Washington, DC, and three territories, have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 107 patients with the virus have died.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday afternoon that Canada would close its borders to anyone who is not a citizen, permanent resident, or US citizen as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

As of Wednesday evening, Canada has 569 confirmed cases and 26 probable cases.

Federal and state officials in the US have significantly tightened restrictions on social movement in recent days as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections skyrockets.

Trump on Monday recommended that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. The White House also recommended that Americans homeschool their children, avoid nonessential travel, and avoid bars and restaurants.

The guidelines aren't mandatory, but they came after many cities and states, including New York, closed businesses such as theaters, bars, and gyms, required restaurants to provide only delivery and takeout, and prohibited large gatherings. Various states have also closed public schools.

The global economy is also tanking amid investor panic over the virus.

US stock futures tumbled into "limit down" territory and oil plunged to a 17-year low on Wednesday as investors seemed to brush off sweeping government proposals and actions meant to ease the novel coronavirus' effects on the world economy.

Futures contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq hit their exchange-enforced limits on losses, according to Bloomberg. Oil prices — already hit hard by a price war and concerns that the coronavirus would erode demand — slumped to 2003 levels.

Theron Mohamed contributed to this report.