Return to campus

On this page:

Health and safety requirements

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. We will update this section once study spaces become available again.

In-person course activity

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

For the fall term, faculties are planning to deliver much more in-person learning than we have done at any point in the pandemic to date. The COVID-19 information pages for undergraduate studies and graduate studies contain the latest information for students.

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

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. 

Employee access

For complete details, please visit the Employee access page.