Canada’s UBC to Provide Quarantine Accommodation to Returning International Students

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is expected to provide accommodation for international students returning to campus this fall.

At the moment, the university has set a total of 160 units on campus to be used for students’ self-isolation as well as “UBC Quarantine Bursary” to assist the latter to cover some expenses, reports.

Moreover, the University of British Columbia’s Self-Isolation Package, which costs 79 Canadian dollars a day, includes three meals, Wi-Fi, a private washroom as well as spaces with an unequipped kitchen.

“Personal and health supports including direct access to medical professionals and other wellbeing supports, even after-hours,” UBC pointed out.

In the meantime, UBC’s Director of University Affairs, Matthew Ramsey, said that although student demand for accommodation is high, they are optimistic it will be manageable with the residences and hotels that have already been set aside. Furthermore, the university has also been collaborating with local hotels to accommodate students who must quarantine, yet the costs for the room are expected to be paid by students.

“Staff will bring them meals, their medications, and other necessities they need,” Ramsey added.

International students vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson will not be required to quarantine if they have received their second dose two weeks before. Canada has approved only the abovementioned vaccines.

“To be considered fully vaccinated, students will need to have received the full series of COVID-19 vaccines accepted by Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada,” the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship told Postmedia News.

Hence, students who are vaccinated with other vaccines developed by international biopharmaceutical companies such as Beijing’s Sinovac and India’s Bharat Biotech will be obliged to self-isolate for 14 days.

The University of British Columbia was established in 1915 and is listed among the top 20 world public universities. It hosts many international students, with China and India being the top two sending countries.

Just before the pandemic, the number of international students at UBC increased to 18,283 from the 16,322 in 2017/18. Whereas, during 2020, the number of international students enrolled at the university reached 66,747.

Since October, Canada has allowed international students to enter the country if their learning institution had its COVID-19 readiness plan approved. Nevertheless, despite meeting the criteria to enter the country, international students in Canada said they are facing visa delays, few flight options as well a lack of vaccination against COVID-19.

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