Post-secondary studies during COVID-19

For the 2021/2022 academic year, public post-secondary institutions will follow updated COVID-19 Return-to-Campus guidelines. 

Last updated: September 24, 2021

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2021/22 Return-to-Campus guidelines

The guidelines are developed by a team of experts from B.C.’s post-secondary sector, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, regional health authorities and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Return-to-Campus town halls

On May 10, 2021, the public health guidance provided in the previously released Return-to-Campus Primer was discussed at a virtual province-wide town hallOn May 28, 2021, the public health guidance provided in the previously released Return-to-Campus Primer was discussed at a second virtual province-wide town hall.

Proof of vaccination

On-campus housing

In addition to the province-wide proof of vaccination requirements, students must provide proof of vaccination to live in some on-campus housing. 

Attending in-person classes

Proof of vaccination is not required to attend in-person classes, seminars or tutorials. 

By order of the PHO, students participating in health science programs must be fully immunized to participate in student practicums and clinical placements in long-term care or extended care facilities. 

Campus drop-in vaccine clinics

Drop-in vaccine clinics will be available on campuses across B.C. for first and second doses. Visit your institution's website for more information.

Remember, you're partially vaccinated with 1 dose and fully vaccinated 7 days after dose 2. 

Masks in public indoor areas

Masks must be worn in all public indoor areas, including:

  • Classrooms
  • Labs
  • Lobbies and hallways
  • Stairwells and elevators

Institution communicable disease prevention

Under the guidance of WorkSafeBC, all public post-secondary institutions have developed communicable disease prevention plans. 

As part of these plans, post-secondary institutions can implement their own proof of vaccination policies beyond what is provincially required. 

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International students

International students can enter Canada if their institution has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place.

International students who are fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine are not required to quarantine. However, all incoming students need a quarantine plan, regardless of their vaccination status. A quarantine plan is required in case individuals test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival and need to isolate in accordance with public health requirements.

A self-isolation plan and federal ArriveCAN application must be completed and submitted prior to arrival.

Mental health supports

Students, faculty and staff may be anxious or experiencing increased stress about returning to campus. Mental health supports will be critical for everyone’s health and wellbeing as part of the return to in-person activities on campus. Various supports are available including:

  • Here2Talk, a free and confidential 24/7 mental health counselling and referral service
  • The new Capacity to Connect program, which provides faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions with easy access to the tools and skills they need to provide intervention and help for students who are struggling with their mental health and wellness.
  • KUU-US crisis response service, a culturally-aware crisis support is available 24/7 to Indigenous people in B.C.
  • Faculty and staff can access counselling and wellness services through employee and family assistance programs
  • Virtual mental health programs and services are offered through the province to support mental health and wellness
  • Institution specific on-campus resources may include spirituality and wellness centres such as counselling, faith-based centres, and communal gatherings to support health and well-being