Guatemala bans arrivals from U.S., Canada to fight coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei looks on during a news conference with Michael Kozak (not pictured), acting assistant secretary for U.S. State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in Guatemala City, Guatemala February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala will from Monday widen travel restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus, banning arrivals from the United States and Canada, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday.

“We are therefore announcing that everyone who arrives from Canada and the United States between now and midnight on Monday will be subject to quarantining,” Giammattei said in a televised address.

The president said he had also asked the Mexican government to halt deportations of migrants by land to Guatemala.

No cruise ships will be allowed to dock, but public events and school classes would go ahead for the time being, he added.

Earlier this week, Guatemala banned arrivals from European countries, China, Iran, South Korea and North Korea.

Earlier in the day, the Central American country announced its first case of confirmed coronavirus infection. The man had come to Guatemala from Madrid via Colombia, Giammattei said.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Dave Graham and Michael Perry