Campus access


Campus information

Find out which buildings are open and operating hours at each campus:

Accessing facilities

When accessing any campus facilities, please remember the following general rules apply, in addition to your faculty or department’s conditions:

  • Face coverings must be worn in accordance with Waterloo's face covering requirement.
  • Physical distancing must be applied, providing a distance of at least two meters between individuals.
  • All on-campus activities must be conducted in accordance with applicable safety requirements and best practices.
  • Everyone must conduct self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms and record their presence via Campus Check-In each day that they attend campus.
  • Working Alone guidelines must be followed. In the case of office space, desk work would fall into the low risk category, and therefore a written plan is not required providing that the following guidelines are followed:
    • periodic check-in
    • access to phone and security measures
    • compliance with the University Police Personal Safety Guide.
  • The Health and Safety Guidance During COVID-19 document must be adhered to.
  • Employees must complete all hazard-specific and mandatory training including the new Returning to Campus Safely during COVID-19 (SO2036).

A campus safety app is also available for download, which includes emergency tools, notifications, and tips for staying safe. Visit the WatSafe web page for more information.

At all times, anyone on campus must follow Waterloo pandemic response protocols as well as guidelines from the Region of Waterloo Public Health and the Waterloo Safety Office, including for physical distancing.

Student study spaces

Drop-in study space is currently not available due to the Government of Ontario's stay-at-home order.

In-person course activity

Refer to your course schedule for information on any in-person classes or activities.

Laboratory and research access

Protocols are in place to facilitate a safe return to on-campus research in laboratories. Researchers who have requested continuation of on-campus lab activities will be given instructions for accessing campus when their requests have been approved.

Graduate student access to non-laboratory spaces

As graduate students, you have communicated interest in access to non-laboratory campus facilities to promote their academic and specifically research progress.  The University is eager to accommodate your requests in ways that catalyze their academic success with an emphasis on safety. To this end, the University and faculties have developed protocols for graduate students and their supervisors to request access to non-laboratory campus facilities in order to promote their academic and research progress.

The University and Faculties have also worked collaboratively to develop a common set of considerations and criteria to be used in the vetting of these requests, while still acknowledging Faculties’ local conditions. These include:

  • The safety of students and the University Community is the primary consideration.  All members of the University community are encouraged to continue to work remotely unless there is a compelling need for access to campus.
  • Access to facilities will only be possible if students have been included in departmental/faculty occupancy considerations and plans.
  • Access to a campus facility at any time is limited by public health guidance on that facility’s occupancy limit.   
  • Students for whom their remote conditions create significant impediments to their academic and research progress will be given priority.  These challenges may include:
    • Insufficient or unreliable internet access;
    • Personal obligations such as child or family care that creates challenging environments;
    • Inability to access research resources that can’t be resolved remotely;
  • Other considerations as articulated by the faculties or departments to ensure safety compliance 

To access campus for non-research or laboratory purposes, please follow the following faculty-specific process.

Workplace access for employees

Employees must obtain approval  from their department/faculty to access buildings on campus.  

Approval process

The University is taking a phased approach to safely and gradually resume campus operations.

Employees are required to continue working from home unless they have been approved as part of their department’s Return to Campus plan.

If you are not approved to return to work on campus but need temporary access to a building, you must get approval from your faculty, department or unit head.

Researchers who have submitted requests for continuation of on-campus laboratory activities, and who are awaiting response on those requests, will receive information on the outcome of the evaluation of their requests. Building access, as required, for those approved to continue on-campus laboratory activities, will then be arranged promptly.

Guidance for deans and department heads

Deans and department heads are responsible for assessing and approving all requests for access to buildings from their direct reports and members of their department.

Deans and department heads should consider the following general guidelines when responding to individual temporary requests for access:

  • You can allow short, temporary access for items or supplies that employees require and could not otherwise work from home without.
  • These visits should be coordinated so that multiple employees are not entering the same workplace at the same time.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to complete work that can be done remotely should not be granted.
  • Approvals for requests to enter offices to water plants or pick up non-emergency supplies and personal items should not be granted.
  • Employees who are accessing buildings will need to abide by public health guidelines for physical distancing and hand hygiene (see preventative measures below).

Deans and department heads will need to follow these guidelines:

  • Any requests for laboratory access requires the approval of the Department Head, Faculty Dean, and Office of Research.
  • If your unit or department has employees that are physically present on campus on a regular basis, please also contact Plant Operations so that services and maintenance schedules can be adjusted. In your email please include the following information:
    • Subject: [DEPT NAME] – campus presence
    • Date - Week of [April 20-24, 2020]
    • Department Name
    • Number of employees present
    • Building name
    • Room numbers
  • Plant Operations will need to know the employees’ location of work and all other areas that they have accessed, so prompt cleaning can be scheduled.

A summary of services is revised on a weekly basis to reflect the needs of our campus. The current service is posted on the Plant Operations website and the Plant Operations Modified Service page

Preventive measures for on-campus employees

We all have an important part to play in limiting the risk of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our campus community. If you are coming to campus, be sure to do the following: 

Before coming to campus 

When on campus

  • When you arrive on campus, check in by connecting to the eduroam Wi-Fi network or by completing the Campus Check-in form every day you visit campus and for every building you visit. 
  • When on campus, practice physical distancing by keeping a distance of 2 metres away from others 
  • Face coverings must be worn in accordance with Waterloo's face covering requirement
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (not your hands), and immediately dispose the tissue 

Purchasing supplies for remote workers

Print + Retail Solutions is continuing to support University employees by offering a curated assortment of tools and items working remotely.

Print + Retail Solutions’ integrated accounting infrastructure can help faculty and staff to procure items they might need to work from home using a department charge account.

Currently, W Store has printers, laptops, external drives, headsets, noise canceling headphones, cables and other similar items available and can source other technology, stationery or general merchandise products.

If your employees cannot find the product online at, send an email to and the W Store will look into it. In most cases Print + Retail Solutions can ship directly to homes if needed and can arrange a pickup or even a delivery via an appointment outside South Campus Hall.

Reporting COVID-like illness

If you are ill, do not come to campus. If you become ill while working on campus, go home, seek appropriate medical attention as needed and notify  Occupational Health  immediately. 

If you have medical questions, contact your health care provider or your local public health unit. 

Learn more about what to do if you are ill, or if an employee or student discloses an illness to you, on the Health Protocols page. 


If you have questions about accessing campus buildings, contact the Safety Office.