May 12, 2021

Dear IAHLA Institutes,

I hope this email finds you well. We are writing to share information that was provided to public post-secondary institutions by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training regarding New Travel Restrictions, and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Workplace and Post-Secondary Institution Safety Order.

1.       New Travel Restrictions

As you likely already know, on April 23, 2021, the BC’s PHO expanded the existing provincial travel restrictions to ensure that British Columbians stay within their local areas and reduce non-essential travel. These new restrictions are in effect until May 25, 2021. While we know that most of your students will be from your local community, the following may be relevant to any students who must travel to attend your institute or other education or training opportunities:

  • Essential travel includes travel for post-secondary education and training.
  • Travel to attend classes or receive training through a post-secondary institution, including participating in practical learning activities such as fieldwork, practicums and clinical placements, is exempt from the travel restrictions as part of a broad exemption for post-secondary education and training.

2.       Provincial Health Officer Workplace and Post-Secondary Institution Safety Order

On May 2, 2021 BC’s PHO made changes to the PHO Workplace and Post-Secondary Institution Safety Order to contain the spread of COVID-19, which have been shared with public post-secondary institutes.

Changes include:

  • A student must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in an indoor common area or a classroom in a post-secondary institution, subject to the exceptions noted in section 9.
  • Employers must require workers to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in indoor common areas.
  • Employers must strongly encourage workers to work from their private residences, if possible, given the nature of the work involved.
  • Visitors to indoor common areas continue to be covered by the face covering requirements in the Emergency Program Act Ministerial Order No. M012

IAHLA and FNESC fully respect the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about their post-secondary and adult institute operations in the best interests of their students, institutes, and communities. We are sharing this information as it may be useful to support you and the communities you serve in your planning, recognizing that some details may not all be applicable to all member institutes.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available. For additional COVID-19 updates and resources, please visit