Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that his country is closing its borders as a protective measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

Canadian citizens, people with permanent resident status as well as American citizens are exempted from the entry ban into Canada, according to countermeasures unveiled by the prime minister.


While Canada has confirmed some 300 individuals being infected with the coronavirus, the neighboring United States reports more than 3,900 cases and nearly 70 deaths, according to a recent tally by The New York Times.

The decision comes at a time when some European countries are shutting down their borders to reduce transmission of the coronavirus as COVID-19, originating from central China in late December, has been spreading most actively in the region.

Italy, Europe's hardest-hit country in the pandemic so far, said Monday that its death toll from the disease has surpassed 2,000, up 349 from the previous day, marking the highest total after China which claims over 3,000 deaths from the virus.