Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the mutual decision by Canada and the United States to close their shared border to non-essential travel will take effect at midnight tonight.

Both countries have been negotiating a mutual ban on recreational travel without restricting the flow of two-way trade and commerce.

Essential cross-border workers like health-care professionals, air crews and others are being permitted to cross, but business advocates had been hoping for more clarity on how exactly the restrictions and exemptions would be enforced.

Government officials say the focus will be more on turning away recreational travellers than it will be about creating exemptions for people considered essential.

The Canadian American Business Council is working on ways to use existing “trusted traveller” programs to streamline the process of getting across the border for those who qualify.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says it is vital to the economic health of both countries that the flow of $2.7 billion worth of goods that cross the Canada-U.S. border each day be allowed to continue.