It was announced this morning that Canada and United States have agreed to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The border will be shut down temporarily in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, and travelers will no longer be permitted to travel across the border for recreational or tourism purposes.

Trucking will not be affected by this measure, Trudeau said.

Shortly before before Prime Minister Trudeau began his address, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the border between Canada and the United States will be “temporarily” closed to tourists and visitors, “by mutual consent.”

It has not been announced exactly when when non-essential travel will be restricted across the border and when these changes will take affect.

This measure is the latest effort from government in attempting to limit the cross-border spread of COVID-19, while considering the ongoing need for workers who cross the border daily, such as truck drivers who are transporting everything from groceries to medical supplies.

Justin Trudeau’s announcement was also followed by a series of new measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

Canada’s big six banks will allow mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months to help customers struggling amid the economic downturn.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 206,951.

Nearly 8,272 people have died from the illness and 82,889 have made a full recovery.