Return to Campus

Based on guidance from provincial and regional public health authorities, UBC is planning a return to on-campus instruction and activities for the 2021/2022 Winter Session. During this time, student residence will be open and extracurricular activities will resume. While we are excited to welcome new and current students back to ECE, we know that there may be some anxiety and concern for some domestic and international students about returning to in person classes, what we are doing to ensure a safe return to campus, and what students can expect upon arriving to UBC. We hope that the resources and information below can help clarify and address some of these concerns, and reassure that the health and safety of the student body at UBC is of utmost importance.

For more information and FAQs, please visit the UBC Campus Return Plan website.

Feeling stressed or anxious about transitioning back to campus? 

This is very understandable and normal. Various tools and resources are being developed by UBC to assist students with this transition and we will share these as they become available, but in the meantime, Dr. Lynn Alden from UBC Psychology shares some excellent information and tips to address re-entry anxiety in this article. Additionally, we have put together a page of frequently asked questions, answered by Dr. Stephen Hoption Cann, a clinical professor from the School of Population and Public Health, and Dr Mahyar Etminan, an Associate Professor from the Departments of Ophthalmology and Medicine.

COVID-19 Safety and Information:

What is UBC doing to lower the risk?

UBC has senior-level committees working to develop plans and responses to the evolving situation, who regularly consult with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health on how to detect and mitigate any potential cases at UBC. There are appropriate measures in place, in the event that UBC is presented with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

To lower the risk in the UBC campus environment:

  • Routine cleaning is scheduled daily and follows industry cleaning standards laid out by the Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), which are a blended approach designed to manage risk. These cleaning standards comply with APPA’s best practices.
  • Information is posted across campus and in our ECE buildings to remind people of how to reduce the spread of infections and hand sanitizer stations continue to be monitored and refilled in main entrances.
  • For more information we encourage campus users to visit

The university is also working hard to ensure that students, faculty and staff receive reliable and up-to-date information on preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Arrival and Quarantine

If you are a student travelling from outside of Canada, you should check if you are eligible to enter Canada, prepare documents to support essential travel, create and submit a self-isolation plan, and know what to do upon arrival at the airport or border. For more information and help with this process, including information on quarantining/self-isolation, please refer to UBC’s International Student Guide.

Vaccinations and Safety/Effectiveness

The best way to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated.

For incoming students who have not been vaccinated by the time they arrive to UBC, free COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all UBC students (both domestic and international). You do not need a BC Personal Health Number, BC Services Card or be enrolled in BC’s Medical Services Plan to receive a vaccine. For information on how to register to get vaccinated, visit BC’s website.

Vaccines provided in Canada are safe and effective. All vaccines must go through safety extensive testing before being distributed in Canada. Once approved for use, vaccines continue to be monitored. Vaccines protect you and others from diseases that are dangerous and even deadly, and many dangerous diseases are now rare in Canada due to widespread vaccination; getting vaccinated and following the proper Covid-19 precautions are the safest and most effective ways to protect yourself and others.

The BC Centre of Disease Control has determined that all vaccines approved in Canada will help protect you against COVID-19. In clinical trials, those who had been vaccinated were significantly less likely to become sick from COVID-19, be hospitalized, or die from the disease. While some people may still get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, all vaccines have shown to provide a high level of protection against serious illness and death.

Health Guidance

Along with getting vaccinated, there are several more things you can do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19. For further health guidance, please visit UBC’s COVID-19 website.

The general advice from health agencies is as follows:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.
  • If you are ill, have symptoms of flu like a fever or cough, you should stay home.
  • Do frequent self-assessments for COVID-19 symptoms with BC’s Thrive Assessment Tool.


If you are joining UBC as a first-year undergraduate student, UBC may consider deferring your offer of admission under certain circumstances. For information on eligibility and applying for a deferral, please refer to the UBC website.

Quarantine Bursary

The UBC Quarantine Bursary is a one-time needs-based bursary to support UBC students who do not meet current federal exemptions for mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Canada. If you are required to quarantine upon entry into Canada to begin or continue your studies, you may be eligible for financial assistance. The bursary intended to help alleviate financial hardship and may not cover the entire cost of your stay. 

To apply for a bursary, please visit the UBC Quarantine Bursary page.