Update on vaccine requirement for undergraduate students living on campus for Fall 2021

Update on vaccine requirement for undergraduate students living on campus for Fall 2021

We are looking forward to welcoming you to on-campus housing this fall. 

The health and safety of our community and the community around us is our top priority as we look forward to a gradual and safe return to in-person activities for Fall 2021. As part of our commitment to your health and safety, York University will require students living in undergraduate residence for 2021/2022 to be vaccinated. 

This requirement is supported by Toronto Public Health, as it is recognized that vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect those who come into contact with others, especially in congregate living settings such as on-campus residences. Public health experts have established that vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect individuals and those around them from serious illness due to COVID-19.

More detailed information about this vaccine requirement is available in frequently asked questions on the Better Together site.

Requirement for Vaccination 

  • All students moving into the undergraduate residence buildings will be required to be vaccinated. 
  • Students should have their first shot prior to their move-in date, with York strongly recommending they receive it at least 14 days before moving in and, wherever possible, arrive fully vaccinated where two doses are required.
  • Those who are unable to get vaccinated before moving in will have two weeks following their move-in date to receive their first dose, with the university helping to facilitate access to vaccines, subject to supply.
  • Students who are not vaccinated may be subject to additional public health restrictions. 
  • Students in Ontario, including international students living in Ontario, looking to book a vaccination appointment can visit the Ontario vaccine booking website.
  • For students arriving from any other Canadian province or territory, please refer to your local or provincial/territorial booking site.
  • Any student in residence who cannot be vaccinated on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code may request an exemption. Details about how to request an exemption will be available in the next few weeks. 
  • The University will facilitate access to vaccines for students who require first and second doses. 
  • International students are eligible for free COVID vaccines from the Province of Ontario. 
  • The vaccination requirement does not apply to the York Apartments graduate residences, although the University strongly encourages all members of the York community to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible to do so.

Toronto Public Health confirms that: "Vaccination is one of several public health measures that greatly impact the reduction in the community spread of COVID-19 and will continue moving us forward towards the common goal of ending this pandemic. This includes planning for the in-person return of students to post-secondary institutions for the 2021 school year and supporting efforts including policy options that achieve the highest vaccination rates, particularly amongst those living in congregate settings such as on-site or local residences." 

Quarantine requirements for students coming to or returning to campus from outside Canada

Students arriving from outside of Canada will be required to meet federal and provincial government quarantine requirements before moving into residence. This applies to all travellers to Canada regardless of the country of origin or vaccination status. The University will facilitate access to vaccines for students arriving in Canada if they were unable to do so before arrival in Canada. More details to come in the next few weeks.

For details, please read the information for international students travelling to Canada and quarantine.

Verification of Vaccination Status 

Students living on campus in undergraduate residences will be required to submit documentation to confirm vaccination status. All information related to proof of vaccination will be treated as confidential. York is committed to the protection of privacy and is required to comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Details will be provided in the next few weeks. In the meantime, please be sure to keep all emails, receipts or records you receive confirming that you have been vaccinated. 

Health and Safety Protocols in Place for Residences 

The following health and safety measures are currently in place and will likely be in place in the fall. 

  • Wear a face mask in all common spaces at all times. 
  • Regular self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Completion of a screening checklist every day.
  • Capacity limits in common spaces according to provincial regulations. 
  • Closure of some common spaces depending on provincial regulations and public health guidance.
  • Limits on in-person dining.
  • A continued no-guest policy.

If you have questions about the vaccine requirement and your on-campus living arrangement:

We will review all measures in place as public health directives are updated and will communicate any changes closer to move-in dates. 

The teams in Residence Life, Housing Services, York International and Student Engagement, along with the entire York community, are here to support you and are excited to see you on campus this fall. 

Welcome to the start of a new academic year!


Lucy Fromowitz
Vice-Provost Students
York University