The Canadian government will prevent all foreign travelers — excluding U.S. citizens — from entering Canada beginning on 18 March 2020 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Canadian citizens and their immediate family members, legal permanent residents, airline crew members and diplomats are exempt from the ban. All international flights will then be permitted to land only at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (CYUL/YUL), Toronto Pearson International Airport (CYYZ/YYZ), Calgary International Airport (CYYC/YYC) or Vancouver International Airport (CYVR/YVR). On 13 March the government recommended that Canadian nationals avoid all non-essential travel and urged those abroad to return home as soon as possible. All returning Canadians are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The country has so far reported at least 324 confirmed COVID-19 cases across all 10 provinces, in addition to 17 presumptive cases.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., officials in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area have issued a shelter-in-place order for nearly 7 million residents in San Francisco and the neighboring counties of Alameda Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The order went into effect at 0001 local time (0701 UTC) on 17 March and is scheduled to last through at least 7 April. Officials have ordered residents to avoid all unnecessary travel and not leave their homes except for essential reasons, such as obtaining food and medicine. Additionally, on 16 March U.S. President Donald Trump released a set of guidelines, urging U.S. residents not to gather in groups of more than 10 people, to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay away from bars, food courts and restaurants. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy urged residents to stay indoors between 2000-0500 local time (0000-0900 UTC) and avoid all non-essential and non-emergency travel within those hours starting on 16 March. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the closure of polling locations across the state due to COVID-19 concerns, temporarily suspending the state’s primary elections until June. Most of the major urban centers in the country — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston — have closed schools and ordered food establishments to operate carryout and delivery services only. Thus far, the U.S. has reported more than 4,660 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 89 fatalities; 22 of those deaths were reported on 16 March.