President Donald Trump made an abrupt announcement last night that he would be halting travel from 16 European countries to the U.S. for a period of 30 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and that was apparently the first the Canadian government had heard of it.
Trump’s initial announcement caused some confusion about who the ban would include, but officials later clarified that only passenger travel would be halted and not trans-Atlantic trade in goods.
Officials also specified that the ban — which will come into effect at midnight Friday — will not apply to Americans or U.S. permanent residents.
Speaking to host Heather Hiscox on CBC News Network this morning, Canada’s deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canadian government found out about the ban with the rest of the world when Trump announced it on television.
When asked by Hiscox whether the U.S. informed Canada of the decision before announcing it publicly, Freeland responded saying “No, they didn’t.”
She said she immediately contacted Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., who is now speaking to officials in Washington for more information, upon hearing the news.
She also said Trudeau would soon be speaking to his G7 counterparts about the ban.
The Prime Minister has since entered self-isolation while his wife is tested for the virus after exhibiting mild symptoms following a trip to the U.K.