Students in Residence: Make an Informed Holiday Plan: COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures

Students in Residence: Make an Informed Holiday Plan: COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures

As Ontario works hard to limit the spread of COVID-19, and with the federal government recently introducing new testing and quarantine requirements for those arriving in Canada from international travel, and the latest advisory against non-essential travel, the health and wellbeing of our residence community is our highest priority. In light of the evolving situation around the new Omicron variant, we strongly encourage you to consider limiting your travel and in-person social interactions during the holiday period. Please also refer to the recent End of Term message for specific details about changes to the campus this December and in January. 

Below is important information to support you as we move through the next few weeks.

Staying on campus during the holidays

The Undergraduate Residences will remain open and operational with limited urgent services from Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, 4:30 p.m. to Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, 9 a.m. Plans are in place to ensure the health and safety of all community members. Security, on-call maintenance, emergency repairs and Residence Life staff support will be available, with a series of virtual social programs planned during the break; limited on-campus dining options will be open. Guests continue to not be permitted in residence

If you plan to stay on campus during the holidays, please take the following actions:

  • If your plans have changed and you have not informed Housing Services of your intention to remain in residence over the holidays, please complete the appropriate form no later than December 20, 2021 to ensure that you can continue to access your residence building. 
  • Complete YU Screen every day. This daily exercise allows York University to get in touch and support students living on campus who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Travelling during the pandemic

Fully vaccinated students travelling within Canada and the United States, are not currently required to quarantine before returning to the York University campus. However, please check the Better Together site for the most current information.

If you plan on travelling within Canada, make sure you check the guidelines for the province/region to which you are travelling.

If you plan on travelling outside of Canada over the holidays, please make yourself aware of travel restrictions and testing requirements and keep the following in mind:

  • All travellers, regardless of vaccination status and citizenship, entering Canada from international locations (excluding the US) are subject to arrival testing. Fully vaccinated travellers must self-isolate until a negative test result is received.
  • York students living in undergraduate residence entering Canada from international locations must make arrangements to quarantine or self-isolate off campus. Students are not permitted to quarantine or self-isolate due to travel on campus.
  • York students living in York Apartments may make arrangements to quarantine or self-isolate in their apartment. While self-isolating in your apartment during this time you should make arrangements with friends/family to assist with needs such as groceries or laundry, as you will not be able to access shared facilities like laundry rooms.
  • York International is available to coordinate off-campus quarantine and self-isolation accommodations. Please visit the York Quarantine Information Page for more information and to request quarantine or self-isolation accommodation.
  • For more information on travel to Canada, quarantine and more, visit YU Better Together.
  • Follow the health and safety measures outlined below.

Health & Safety Measures

Regardless of your travel plans this holiday season, I would like to remind you about health and safety measures to safeguard your health, reduce the risk of transmission and limit future outbreaks of COVID-19:

  • Minimize contact with others
  • Wear a mask or face covering in all indoor spaces and when you can’t maintain 2-meter physical distance outdoors;
  • Practice physical distancing and frequent handwashing;
  • Use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not available;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces;
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Stay home and self-isolate if you are sick (use the self-assessment tool); are in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case; are COVID-19 positive; or have travelled internationally recently.

Support & Resources

Throughout the Winter Break, Residence Life Dons, Residence Life Education Assistants and professional staff will provide students with the opportunity to build community and celebrate the holiday season, and will be available throughout the Winter Break to support residents.

We welcome all students living in residence to our Virtual Holiday Residence Launch on December 23, 2021. During the Launch participants will virtually connect with other winter break residents, members of the Residence Life Team and learn more about the experience of living in residence. For more information about winter events and programming, visit the Winter Break Programming website.

Residents are encouraged to reach out to a Don in their building should they need guidance or someone to talk to. Duty Dons are available for emergency support each night from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. the following morning. 

Other helpful campus resources include Security Services, Student Counselling, Health & Well-being, and Centre for Sexual Violence, Support & Education

If you have questions or concerns about staying safe on or off campus, please contact the Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) between Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at or 416-736-5231. You can also reach out to OSCR if you need referrals and support, both internal and external to York, help with complex issues or assistance with personal issues related to the pandemic.

Please stay safe and healthy during this holiday season.


Lucy Fromowitz
Vice-Provost, Students