The B.C. government has announced new requirements and health and safety measures for students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities. The new measures include mandatory masks in all indoor spaces on campus, and proof of vaccination to access some on-campus services.

Mandatory masks

Effective August 25, 2021, masks are required in all indoor public areas on campus. This includes lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, and labs. This order is part of the public health mask mandate placed on all non-essential public indoor spaces across the province.

On-campus proof of vaccination

As part of the new provincial requirements, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination. Those accessing these services must have proof of at least one vaccine dose by September 13, 2021, and proof of two doses by October 24, 2021. This will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including gyms, on-campus nightclubs and restaurants, and a variety of indoor events such as sporting events and concerts.

Students using on-campus housing must have proof of vaccination (at least one dose) by September 7, 2021. Further guidance will be available soon from public health on which types of student housing facilities will be subject to this requirement.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to attend classes (except for health sciences) by the province, but colleges and universities may institute their own policies and requirements.

CUPE strongly recommends vaccinations to all members, as they are crucial to limiting the spread of COVID-19. The benefits of vaccinations clearly outweigh any risks, and we ask that you discuss any questions you have with your medical practitioners.

All CUPE members working in colleges and universities are asked to contact their Local immediately if they are asked by their employer about vaccination status, or if they ask for any other information regarding immunization.

These new requirements will be added to the province’s COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines shortly.

CUPE will continue monitoring updates to on-campus health and safety measures.