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Good evening – here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines
  1. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will close its border to most non-Canadians, with some exceptions. He also said financial help is coming.
  2. British Columbia reported three additional coronavirus deaths at a long-term care home in North Vancouver.
  3. The TSX fell 9.9 per cent, and the dollar weakened.
  4. Some scientists believe the effects of the pandemic could last months, not weeks.
  5. Premier Doug Ford asked Ontario bars and restaurants to voluntarily close.

Have questions about the coronavirus? Email The Globe’s paywall has been removed on coronavirus news stories.

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Toronto's Union Station was unusually quiet during rush hour as workers stayed home.

Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Number of the day

13 per cent

On Wall Street, the Dow closed 13 per cent down and the S&P 500 fell 9 per cent today, wiping out a late rebound on Friday.

What it means: Measures taken by central banks around the world – like the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to near zero – have failed to calm markets.

Coronavirus in Canada

407: total confirmed cases in Canada.

Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada will close its borders to most non-Canadians with exceptions for U.S. citizens and diplomats. Trudeau also announced:

  • Airline operators will be ordered not to allow anyone with symptoms, including Canadians, onto planes bound for Canada; any individual with symptoms will be denied entry. Financial support will be made available for Canadians who still need to return home.
  • Starting Wednesday, the only airports allowed to accept international flights will be in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.
  • All travellers returning to the country must self-isolate for 14 days.

“If you are abroad, it is time for you to come home,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Coronavirus around the world

The WHO said countries must “test, test, test” every suspected COVID-19 case. Following a teleconference, G7 leaders called response to the coronavirus pandemic a “foremost priority.” In a statement that vowed cooperation, the leaders said they are “mobilizing the full range of instruments” to support the “workers, companies and sectors most affected.”

Coronavirus and business:

What happened today?

In a move aimed at maintaining liquidity in Canada’s financial system, the Bank of Canada said it will broaden the eligible forms of collateral under its term repo facility. It also said it “stands ready, as a proactive measure,” to purchase Canada Mortgage Bonds.

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  • "The Bank of Canada is taking concerted action to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress. Our measures will help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to both households and businesses,” the central bank said in a statement.

RBC and Scotiabank said they would reduce their prime rates to 2.95 per cent, with other banks likely to follow.

  • Some banks and telecom companies offered help for customers facing financial hardship as the coronavirus crisis deepens. BMO will offer “a financial relief program that is tailored to each individual’s circumstances,” a spokesperson said. Rogers, Fido and Chatr announced they will relax long-distance rules.
  • This morning, Canadian executives issued an open letter which urged businesses to “immediately shift focus to the singular objective” of halting the spread of coronavirus. The 30 signatories include CEOs from some of the country’s biggest corporations and the six big banks.
  • Companies across Canada are cutting operations or shutting down as consumers retreat homeward, and Canadian markets are taking a serious hit.

International business news:

The world’s largest airlines joined together to call on governments to help offset losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak. An airline industry analyst issued a dire warning that, by the end of May, 2020, "most airlines in the world will be bankrupt.”

Have you had to self-quarantine because of the coronavirus? We’d like to hear your story. Email:

Reader question

Question: Can I know if I have coronavirus without being tested?

Answer: If you are infected, you will likely develop symptoms such as dry cough, fever and shortness of breath, two to 14 days after exposure. Public-health officials recommend that you call 811 (or 1-866-797-0000 in Ontario) where you will be asked some screening questions and told if you should be tested or not. Keep in mind, however, that the testing guidelines are changing rapidly, especially now that tests are running low. 811 lines are overwhelmed. You may get a busy signal or wait hours for a call back. To avoid making unnecessary calls, first use self-assessment tools. One of the best is on the Alberta Health Services website.

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However, if you have symptoms such as serious shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, the inability to be aroused, or bluish lips or face (signs of oxygen deprivation), you should call 911 immediately.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered additional reader questions. Need more answers? Email

More Globe reporting:

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