Frequently Asked Questions

Some of these FAQs are adapted from UBC SRS. For more information, please visit

Do I need to wear a mask indoors at UBC? 

All students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks (defined within the COVID-19 Campus Rules) in common indoor spaces on our campuses. 

How long will the requirement to wear a non-medical mask be in place? 

This policy will be in place until further notice. We are constantly reviewing our policies and will make changes as required. 

How will the non-medical mask requirement be enforced? 

We are providing a two-week grace period between September 16 and September 30 to allow everyone to acclimate to the mask policy. After this period enforcement measures will focus primarily on an educational approach and enforcement will depend on the individual’s relationship with the university, the nature of an incident, the place in which it occurred, and the impact on others in that place. 

Will there be any penalties for non-compliance with the non-medical mask requirement? 

Failure to comply with this policy and the other COVID-19 Campus Rules could result (depending on your relationship to UBC) in disciplinary action, or being restricted from UBC property, as outlined in the COVID-19 Campus Rules. 

Do COVID-19 Safety Plans need to be updated to reflect the required use of non-medical masks? 

Yes, some changes will be required to local safety plans to reflect this requirement and to specify approved exceptions. Contact the owner of your COVID-19 Safety Plan (Department Head, Managing Director, etc.) for more information. 

Are there any exceptions to the requirement for use of non-medical masks (e.g. medical,disability or certain activities)? 

Certain activities and individuals, including individuals with a medical condition or disability that inhibits their ability to wear a mask, are exempt from this policy. Please refer to Attachment A in the COVID-19 Campus Rules for the full list of exceptions. 

How does the non-medical mask requirement affect my use of other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (e.g. face shield/respirator)? 

PPE requirements as outlined in existing COVID-19 Safety Plans and Safe Working Procedures take precedence over the non-medical mask requirements. 

Non-medical masks must be worn in common areas such as hallways, stairways, etc. 

Does the non-medical mask requirement apply to contractors working on campus? 

Contractors should seek direction from their UBC contact regarding the application of the COVID-19 Campus Rules to their specific work site. In certain secure work sites, masks may not be required provided all other provincial requirements are followed. 

Contractors inside a UBC building must wear non-medical masks in common/shared spaces. 

If I wear a niqab or burqa do I still need to wear a mask? 

If you wear a religious garment made of fitted fabric that covers the nose and mouth, you do not have to wear an additional mask or face covering. 


Will UBC be providing non-medical masks? 

Faculty/staff – All faculty and staff working on campus will be provided with non-medical masks by their portfolio/Faculty. 

Students – Students living in residence, or attending in-person classes on campus will be provided with one branded non-medical masks by their Faculty. 

Visitors – Contractors, service providers and other visitors are required to provide their own non-medical masks. 

What other types of face covering are acceptable? 

The minimum acceptable standards for non-medical masks are outlined in the COVID-19 Campus Rules as follows:  An appropriate mask must have two layers of tightly woven fabric (cotton or linen), or be a commercially produced disposable non-medical mask, and securely fit, without gaping, over the nose and mouth with ties or ear loops. 

For more information on acceptable masks please see the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website. 

Does wearing a plastic face shield alone comply with this policy? 

No. Plastic face shields do not provide adequate protection to others in the prevention of possible spread of droplets. Approved face shields that meet the requirements of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as detailed in approved Safe Work Procedures and COVID-19 Safety Plans are acceptable. 

Can I make my own mask? 

Yes. Provided it meets the minimum acceptable standards outlined in the COVID-19 Campus Rules. You can find more information about how to make an appropriate homemade mask and the limitations associated with them from the Government of Canada. 

What is the standard/guideline for purchasing non-medical masks? 

UBC recommends using disposable commercially available non-medical masks until a supply of high-quality sustainable cloth masks is sourced and can be distributed on campus.  Consistent with UBC’s commitment to sustainability, community members are encouraged to consider eco-friendly options. 

How do I clean my mask? 

Manufacturer’s guidance for mask cleaning should be followed. Additional guidance can be found above or at BCCDC. 

Do I need to wear a mask in shared office space? 

Non-medical masks are required in shared office space, unless otherwise stated in your approved COVID-19 Safety Plan. Please note COVID-19 Safety Plans will require approved updates to reflect this policy. 

Do I need to wear a mask in my personal office? 

Non-medical masks are not required when working in a sole occupant office or enclosed room. 

Do I need to wear a mask in my personal work cubicle? 

Non-medical masks are required in your personal work cubicle, unless otherwise stated in your approved COVID-19 Safety Plan. Provided other conditions are met (such as physical distancing rules) it is likely that a mask will not be required while seated at your personal work cubicle.  Please note COVID-19 Safety Plans will require approved updates to reflect this policy. 

Do I need to wear a mask if I am the only person working in a building/worksite? 

Non-medical masks are not required if you are the only person working in a building/worksite. 

Does the non-medical mask requirement apply to indoor spaces on campus that are not owned or operated by UBC? 

When in buildings that are not owned or operated by UBC you should follow local safety guidance. 

Examples of indoor spaces that are not controlled by UBC are: 

  • AMS Nest 
  • Commercial spaces rented by third parties such as the Shoppers Drug Mart on University Boulevard 
  • Offices in Wesbrook Village 
  • The Technology Enterprise Facilities (i.e. Gerald McGavin Building, Donald Rix Building, TEF 3) and TRIUMF 

Examples of indoor spaces not located on main UBC campuses that are controlled by UBC and subject to the non-medical mask requirement are: 

  • UBC Robson Square 
  • The UBC Learning Exchange 

If my workplace is located in a hospital or healthcare facility, am I required to wear a non-medical mask? 

UBC units located in hospital and health care facilities should confirm with their UBC Department Head whether or not the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules apply in their workplace. 

Can I take my mask off for eating and drinking? 

Masks may be removed when consuming food or beverages while seated in designated dining areas within UBC dining facilities. Physical distancing requirements must be met when not within one’s social “bubble”. 

In what areas of a student residence building does the non-medical mask requirement apply? 

How do I get assistance with my COVID Safety Plans?

Send an email to and a member of the Safety & Risk Services (SRS) team will contact you.

What if I have already created a plan but did not use the provided template?

No problem, use the Safety Plan Checklist to review your plan. This document includes the required elements you will need in your plan and resources that will assist you in the approval process.

Are templates different depending on my plan Level?

No, CSPs at all levels are to use the same template. UBC Safety Plans must be developed for three organizational levels for activities at UBC Vancouver and UBC Robson Square:

  • Parent Plan – a plan required for units led by a VP or Dean (e.g., Dentistry or VP Students)
  • Intermediate Plan – a plan for a unit, team or service, as determined by the responsible VP or Dean (e.g., the Dentistry Clinic or Enrolment Services)
  • Child Plan – a site-specific plan to guide faculty, students, staff and visitors

More information about the different level of plans can be found on the Safety Planning Process page.

How do I submit my COVID Safety Plan?

In LFS, the first step for every plan submission is to send it for review at How a plan then moves through the approval process is determined by the risk of the activities that will be taking place in the areas featured in the plan. Review the Safety Planning Process to determine how your plan will move through the approval process.

Do the individual measures described in the plan need to be implemented before a plan can be approved?

No – The measures described in a plan do not need to be implemented before a plan is approved.

If I make changes to my plan after it has received initial approval from the COVID-19 Safety Planning Committee, do I need to re-submit it?

In LFS, you will submit the revised safety plan to and depending on how substantive the change is, the revised safety plan will also be reviewed by the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC).

Once my plan is approved can remote workers return to campus right away?

If all measures described in the plan are in place, remote workers (those who are listed in the safety plan) can return to campus in accordance with the schedule outlined in the approved plan. Note that any work that can be done remotely should continue to be done remotely.

Does my building require any preparation before I return?

Before a building can be widely accessed, Building Operations must make preparations to it. Once your plan has been approved, and a scheduled opening date has been set for it, contact your Building Facilities Manager and let them know.

Why is it important to post online and provide hard copies of the COVID Safety Plan?

WorkSafeBC mandates that all CSPs must be in a known and accessible location for Faculty and Staff to view. Posting hard copies on poster boards and publishing on websites is the best way to meet this mandate.

How do I find my Intermediate or Parent Plans?

Contact your Administrative Head of Unit’s office (Department Head, Dean, Managing Director etc.) to find the location of the plans. Copies of finalized plans should be published online and hard copies should be made available in workplaces.

What is a building Key Plan and how do I get my Key Plan for the COVID Safety Plan?

A building Key Plan is a map that includes all rooms and hallways for each floor in your building.  You can request a copy of your Key Plan by sending an email to

Who needs to complete the Preventing COVID-19 infection in the Workplace training?

All UBC employees are required to complete this mandatory training prior to resuming UBC activities, or as soon as possible if they have been working on campus since the remote working arrangements were put in place.

How do I complete the training?

The Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace training can be found on UBC’s Workplace Learning (WPL) platform. You can find more information about the training in the Reoccupancy Safety Planning section of this website.

How can administrators see if members of their team have completed the mandatory COVID-19 safety training?

In LFS, administrators and supervisors can view the training records of their employees and/or students at the LFS Training Record Management System. Please note that if you try to access the LFS Training Record Management System off campus, you must be connected via UBC VPN.

Where can I find specific COVID-19 related information pertaining to LFS?

Please visit our reoccupancy page for the most up-to-date information.

When should I use the email address?

Anytime you have a COVID-19 related question, a COVID-19 related incident has taken place or to submit your COVID Safety Plan for review (please note, CSPs should be submitted to the in accordance with the CSP process).

Where can I find general COVID-19 information about how UBC is keeping faculty, staff and students safe?

General COVID-19 information can be found on the UBC COVID-19 website.

Where can I find COVID-19 facility related information?

Go to for more information.

What should I do if someone is showing potential COVID-19 symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms and health advice can be found on the BCCDC website, including information about when and how to get tested.