UBC Student Housing COVID-19 FAQs

Last updated: January 4, 2023

As BC transitions to an endemic COVID-19 response, Student Housing and Community Services continues to provide the best possible accommodation and experience for our residents.

The health and safety of the UBC community remains our first priority and we continue to work closely with governmental and post-secondary partners within BC to ensure our plans are aligned with current health and safety practices and guidelines. Please note that our typical array of amenities and services may be temporarily adjusted due to health and safety directives.

If you are travelling to Canada, please visit UBC’s Travelling to Canada web page for important resources and updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

General inquiries

I’m moving into UBC Student Housing. Where can I find information about moving in?

Learn more about moving into residence at UBC in our Moving In guide.

I have concerns related to the payment of my residence fees, who can I contact for help?

If you would like to discuss a payment plan, our Assignments team is here to help. Please see the list of emails below and contact the one most appropriate for your residence area.

If you’re facing financial hardship or have questions around your finances, please visit UBC’s Student Support and Resources.

Where can I learn more about applying for Year Round Residence.

Learn more about applying for Year Round Residence.

Where can I find more information about student supports and resources at UBC related to COVID-19?

Residence offers

What do I need to know before I accept my residence offer?

Please ensure you are familiar with your residence contracts, in particular the residence standards and our current COVID-19 Residence Rules (subject to change), as you consider your residence offer.

Travelling to Canada/UBC

If I am travelling to UBC from outside of Canada, what do I need to know?

On October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 Canadian border requirements, including vaccination, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, and any testing and quarantine requirements ended for travellers entering Canada.

However, effective January 5, 2023, the government of Canada reinstated some COVID-19 border and travel measures for air travellers from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao.

For more information and updates, please visit Travelling to Canada and COVID-19: travel, testing and borders.

COVID-19 residence rules and safety

What are the current COVID-19 Residence Rules?

COVID-19 Residence Rules are in effect in all student residences managed by UBC Student Housing to help maintain the health and safety of everyone in the residence community.

How is residence helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses?
  • Promoting the importance of getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Promoting prevention strategies for COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses (e.g., good cough etiquette, clean hand hygiene and staying home if ill).
  • Residence staff are trained to refer residents with cold or flu-like symptoms to HealthLink BC at 811, Student Health Services or a student’s own health care professional.
  • A limited number of self-isolation units are set aside for residents who are not local and have been directed by their health professional to self-isolate.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are placed in each Commonsblock and the residence dining halls.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.
For parents: How will you ensure my student doesn’t get sick?

Student Housing continues to take measures that align with guidance from health authorities and help create a healthy, safer and supportive community environment, noting that it takes everyone in the community to accomplish this goal and that when it comes to communicable illnesses, no one can ensure perfect safety from sickness.

Prevention, assessment, testing and communication

What are preventative measures I can take?

The advice from health agencies is:

  • Be fully vaccinated before you arrive to campus or as soon as you are able after arrival.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rubs 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 or 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.
  • Although UBC no longer requires students, faculty and staff to wear non-medical masks, the university continues to recommend that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, which applies to shared common spaces in residence.
  • Stay home when you are ill and/or have flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or cough, to avoid spreading illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Learn more about prevention and risks.

I’m feeling sick, what should I do?

If you are feeling ill, including experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, follow these steps:

  1. Stay home.
  2. Check your symptoms.
  3. Use BC’s self-assessment tool to determine your next steps, such as using an at-home rapid test or visiting a clinic or emergency department, etc. Rapid test kits are free for everyone in BC and can be picked up from participating pharmacies.
  4. If it is recommended that you self-isolate, follow the self-isolation advice provided by the BCCDC. If you need additional help, you can contact your Residence Life Manager and we will outline supports for you.
  5. If you live in a shared room or unit, you should tell your roommate(s) that you are feeling unwell and discuss your self-isolation plan. If you need additional assistance you can contact your Residence Life Manager.
What will happen if a resident contracts COVID-19?

A resident who has COVID-19 and/or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and who is following the recommendation to self-isolate, should do so in their own room/unit for as long as recommended. Find additional information about self-isolation recommendations.

Residents may contact their Residence Life Manager if they need assistance.

Wearing masks

Do I need to wear a mask in residence?

Although UBC no longer requires students, faculty and staff to wear non-medical masks, the university continues to recommend that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, which applies to shared common spaces in residence.

Indoor personal gatherings

What do I need to know about parties and social gatherings in residence?

First year residents: As per your residence contract (3.20) parties are not permitted in residence. A party is defined as having seven or more people present, alcohol being consumed, and noise loud enough to attract attention from or distract others.

Upper year residents: As per your residence contract (Appendix II – “Guests, Visitors, and Parties”), parties have to be pre-registered for staff approval via a Function Responsibility Form (FRF). This requirement has been in place since long before the pandemic and helps ensure that one person’s party isn’t unreasonably disruptive for others in the community.

Having guests visit your unit is always a privilege that comes with responsibility. For residents in shared units, it is important to have constructive conversations with your roommates about expectations for both hosting guests and expectations of guests when visiting your shared suite.

Additional questions?

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

If you live in residence, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Residence Life Manager who can direct you to help.

We also understand there will be challenging times for everyone at university, and we are here to support residents. This support includes our Counsellors in Residence who remain available for students looking for support and ways to develop new coping strategies. Find out how to make an appointment.

If you’re facing financial hardship or have questions around your finances, speak to your Enrolment Services Advisor.