President Trump announces US-Canada border will close soon, travelers don't seem to know

Berkeley Brean
Updated: March 18, 2020 06:19 PM
Created: March 18, 2020 06:14 PM

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WHEC) — As soon as President Trump announced the U.S.-Canada border closure, News10NBC sent Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean to the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.

Compared to this time last year, the traffic crossing the border is cut in half, though the people Brean talked to had no idea the border was closing. 

The president said the decision to close the border was a joint one with Canada.

His Tweet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday said the border will temporarily close with details to follow.

But at the border, no one seemed to know.

Bobby Kahn crossed at Niagara Falls, returning home to Queens, New York.

Kahn: “All they asked us if we are U.S. citizens. I said yes we are US citizens. And what we had to declare. We just said candies and chocolates and he said okay have a nice trip.”

Brean: “Did they say you have to quarantine at all?”

Kahn: “Nothing.”

Brean: “Did they mention anything about the border being closed at all?”

Kahn: “No, nothing at all.”

Brean: “Does that come as a surprise to you that I told you that?”

Kahn: “Yes.”

The department of homeland security issued no press release on the closure.

Canadaian Customs tells people to avoid non-essential travel and says new restrictions may happen with "little warning," but nothing about a border closure. 

Coronavirus itself has put a squeeze on the border. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says on March 17, 2019, 7,800 cars crossed the border in Western New York.

On March 17, 2020, the number was 3,000.

Ifsa Ishaq crossed back into the U.S. to get to her home in Rhode Island 

Ishaq: “I mean there was a bit of a line, about four or five cars but there was only two stations open.”

Brean: “Did they tell you the border was closed? Give you any specific questions?”

Ishaq: “No, not at all. It was basically like normal.”

Here's what we know:

  • Citizens will get back into their country, both ways.
  • Trucks can pass.
  • It's the leisure trips that may get stopped.
  • Brean’s brother and his family are in Florida right now. He was told that they will be allowed back into Canada, but must then be placed under a 14-day quarantine. 
  • Americans coming back into Canada will not.

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