Updates for the U of A community, week ending January 8

Continuation of temporary safety measures, post graduation work permit extensions, travel reminders and updates, the start of Winter 2021 classes, are all included in the first COVID-19 digest of 2021.

8 January 2021

Posted: January 8, 4:00 p.m.

Post Graduation Work Permit Extensions Announced

The Government of Canada announced today new measures for international students who hold post graduation work permits (PGWP) that have or will expire in the coming months. From January 27 to July 27, 2021, students who meet the following conditions will be able to apply for an open work permit:

  • Have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020 or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application
  • Still be in Canada
  • Have valid temporary status or be apply to restore status

These measures allow former international students to remain in Canada, and continue to seek employment. 

Details on how to apply will be available January 27, 2021. The International Student Services website will also be updated as details become available.

See IRCC news release for details of today’s announcement.

On-campus Research Enhanced Safety Measures Extended to Jan. 25

The temporary enhanced safety measures for on-campus research have been extended to Jan. 25. During this time, all research that can be conducted off-campus must continue off-campus; with only approved research activities permitted on-campus. For details, including applying for an exemption, visit the research section of the COVID-19 website

Travel reminders and updates: negative test result requirement for travel to Canada 

Global Affairs Canada’s global Level 3 avoid all travel advisory is still in effect. As a result, all international and interprovincial university travel remains suspended until further notice.

Staff, faculty and students currently abroad and planning to return to the university must follow all federal and provincial health and safety orders when re-entering the country. New updates from the federal government now require all air travellers, over the age of 5, to present a negative COVID-19 test at the time of boarding their flight for Canada. Tests must be completed within 72 hours of scheduled departure and must be either a Molecular Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) test.

Travellers departing from the Caribbean or South America can use tests conducted within 96 hours of departure (instead of 72 hours) until January 14. 2021. Complete details can be found at Transport Canada, including temporary exemptions for travellers from St Pierre et Miquelon and Haiti.  

All requirements with respect to mandatory quarantine upon arrival remain in effect.

Students travelling to Canada are advised to consult International Student Services for information on travel, quarantine and logistics support.

Classes to start as scheduled on Monday, Jan. 11

Based on the current health restrictions in the province, Winter 2021 courses are set to begin as originally planned on Monday. This means that the majority of classes will be starting remotely online, and that a select number of classes will start on-campus.

Reminder: Required 10-min campus safety course for Winter 2021 in-person community

If you are participating in in-person learning or research activities on campus during the winter term, before your first day on campus you will need to take the eCourse Student Life During COVID-19. Once completed, submit your course completion certificate to your instructor(s)/supervisor(s).

Instructors and staff who are scheduled to be on campus for the Winter 2021 term will also need to complete a similar campus safety eCourse before returning to campus in January. A short refresher version is also available for faculty and staff who previously completed the full course for Fall 2020.

Start of Term Guide for On-Campus Students, Winter 2021 »

Library update

Curbside Pick-Up and Cameron Seat Booking will be closed until at least January 25. Library Book Drops are also closed. If you have an item due, please get in contact via the University of Alberta Library online Ask Us! feature. For more information about, visit the Library Services During Covid-19 website. Remote services remain accessible.

Access to on-campus buildings and rooms

Most university buildings will remain locked during the winter term. Staff and students will continue to have access to buildings during open hours with their physical ONEcard. If you require new access to a building or classroom outside of open hours, please contact your department. Find campus building hours and which exterior door to access online.

If you don’t already have a physical ONEcard, you can get yours at the Infolink ONEcard Service Centre during regular office hours. Visit the ONEcard website for details.

General enquiries: U of A Public Health Response Team, phrtinfo@ualberta.ca

COVID-19 Rapid Response support for on-campus supervisors, instructors and activity coordinators: U of A Rapid Response Triage Team, phrt.triage@ualberta.ca