VFS monitoring & response
Updated: Mar. 5, 2021
British Columbia Provincial Health Officer order on province-wide restrictions
By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all events and social gatherings in British Columbia are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel.
The order is in effect until further notice.
Social gatherings and events
No social gatherings of any size No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:
- Do not invite friends or extended family to your household.
- Do not gather outdoors.
- Do not gather in your backyard.
For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. For others, their core bubble may contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.
An immediate household is a group of people who live in the same dwelling. For example:
- If you have a rental suite in your home, the suite is a separate household.
- If you live in an apartment or house with roommates, you are all members of the same household.
People who live alone
People who live alone cannot host gatherings. They can continue to see the same one or two people of their core bubble at each other’s homes.
University students in B.C.
Welcoming your child home from university is okay. This is not a social gathering.
These activities are not considered a social gathering:
Going for a walk. You must make sure a walk does not turn into a group of people meeting outside.
Restaurants and bars
You must wear a mask when not at a table. Events are no longer allowed. Restaurants and bars can continue to operate as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols in place.
You should only visit a restaurant with people in your household or core bubble. Remember, a maximum of six people at a table and no moving between tables.
Mask requirements in public indoor settings
Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces.
A customer can be refused entry or service if they do not wear a mask.
You are subject to a $230 fine if you:
- Do not wear a mask in an indoor public setting, unless you are exempt.
- Refuse to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space.
- Engage in abusive or belligerent behaviour.
Provincial travel advisory
At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:
- Do not travel for a vacation.
- Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble.
Travelling to B.C. from another province
At this time, people travelling to B.C. from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons. If you do travel, you are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C.
During a public health emergency under the Public Health Act, the PHO can make orders as needed. You must follow the orders.
Under the Government’s Emergency Program Act, some orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don't follow these orders could be fined.
For more information, click here.
International travel restrictions
On March 18, 2020, the federal government announced the closure of Canada’s borders to non-essential travel due to COVID-19 measures.
Until further notice, international visitors (including those from the U.S.) are not allowed in Canada.
Mandatory requirements for travellers to Canada
Travellers need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test taken within 72 hours before their scheduled departure time. Airlines will refuse boarding to travellers who are unable to provide a negative COVID-19 test. (You don’t require a test to fly within Canada.)
Travellers are also required to:
- Take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or molecular test, upon arrival in Canada either by air or by land.
- Stay in a government-supervised hotel for up to 3 days at their own cost while awaiting the test results.
- All hotels are located near one of the 4 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights: Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.
- This new 3-day accommodation requirement is mandatory for all air travellers arriving in Canada, with some limited exceptions.
- Travellers must remain in their hotel rooms and are responsible for all associated costs (hotel room, food, security, infection control, and transportation).
- For complete details about government-supervised hotels and bookings, click here.
Due to these extra costs, travellers can expect to pay significantly more than the cost of a traditional hotel room booking. Travellers will complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at their planned location once they:
- Receive a negative test result from their on-arrival molecular test.
- Demonstrate that they have a suitable quarantine plan.
This includes travellers using public transportation and those taking a domestic flight to their final destination.
As of February 15, 2021, travellers entering Canada by land must provide proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the U.S. upon arrival at the border.
Checklist for travellers to Canada
When entering Canada, you'll be:
- asked if you have a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing
- asked to show proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time
- required to acknowledge that you must:
- quarantine for 14 days if you don't have symptoms or
- isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms
- asked if you have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where:
- you'll have access to basic necessities, including water, food, medication and heat during the winter months
- you won't have contact with people who:
- are 65 years or older
- have underlying medical conditions
- have compromised immune systems
- you won't be in a group or community living arrangement such as:
- industrial camps
- student residences
- construction trailers
- residential or long-term care facilities
- sharing a small apartment
- living in the same household with large families or many people
- having roommates who haven't travelled with you that you can't avoid
- given instructions about the actions you must take under the emergency order and the penalties for non-compliance
Testing to end your quarantine:
Toward the end of your quarantine, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test. Instructions will be provided in the near future. You will be required to stay in your place of quarantine until you receive a negative test result.
If you receive a positive test result, you will be required to isolate for an additional 14-day period that begins on the day the test was taken. Upon receiving a positive test result, contact your local public health authority and follow their directions.
Travellers entering Canada must also:
- provide traveller contact information through:
- the ArriveCAN mobile app or
- the ArriveCAN website or
- a paper form
- undergo screening by a border official
- answer any relevant questions:
- when you arrive in Canada
- during your 14-day period while in quarantine or isolation
- stay in a hotel while waiting a negative result of their molecular test
Those who break quarantine rules may face up to six months in prison or up to CAD $750,000 in fines.
For more information about international travel to Canada, click here.
Self-isolation for international students
Unless exempt, all international travellers returning to B.C. are required to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan.
You must be able to show how you can safely obey the law by self-isolating. That means staying home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others for 14 days.
Your self-isolation plan must consider:
- The location of your 14-day self isolation
- How you will travel to your isolation location
- Arranging the necessary supports:
- Child care
- Cleaning supplies
- Pet care
- Social or family support
For complete details and a list of VFS-recommended options, please consult the VFS Self-Isolation FAQ for International Students.
VFS online & phased campus re-opening
Since the province of B.C.’s mid-May announcement of a strategy for safe re-openings, we have been working on necessary planning towards VFS being able to deliver limited activities on campus, and to do so as safely as possible.
Our key objectives and considerations are as follows:
- Ensure safety in what we do and how we do it. This is presently the key consideration in all decisions being made.
- Resume certain activities in a phased approach to avoid risks that are increased by overcrowding of spaces.
Phase 1 – A very limited number of students in certain departments are being invited to come back to VFS, on an opt-in basis, to resume some specific hands-on activities. All classes and activities that can continue to be delivered online will remain online during this phase.
Phase 2 – Some classes, although deliverable online, will start to be delivered in our campus classrooms. Physical distancing will still be a safety requirement and so a hybrid model may require that students are split between being in class or online at certain times. Therefore, these classes, will also be made available online for students who are not able or willing to attend in person.
Phase 3 – A vaccine has been developed or community immunity in the region has been declared by the provincial and federal health authorities, resulting in VFS being able to fully open all campuses.
On June 11, 2020, VFS implemented Phase 1 of its resumption of activities.
First, we began with on-campus delivery of select hands-on activities that could be carried out with proper physical distancing in accordance with WorkSafe BC & Provincial Health Officer protocols that had been undeliverable otherwise over the previous two and a half months.
As of August 31, 2020, VFS implemented certain Phase 2 actions, and some programs resumed limited on-campus classes and activities.
For complete details about resumption of activities at VFS, please consult the VFS COVID-19 Safety Plan.
As COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to spread around the world, Vancouver Film School is actively monitoring the situation and supporting a global response.
What VFS is doing
To all prospective and enrolled students, as well as parents and guardians, we have increased our response to COVID-19 and we’re empowering everyone at VFS to make decisions that are best for their health.
VFS has established a COVID-19 Safety & Facilities Committee consisting of key stakeholders in all departments and we are communicating on a daily basis to review the latest updates from the Provincial, Federal and World Health Organizations, and to make the appropriate changes to our procedures, best practices, and communication within the VFS community.
What you need to know
COVID-19 is a serious disease, but outbreaks can be managed and contained. At this time, Canada’s Public Health Agency and B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) have assessed the risk associated with the virus as “low,” and the vast majority of infected people are expected to recover.
However, at this time, the province of British Columbia and Canada’s Public Health Office advise against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
If you are returning from abroad, you must follow the mandatory federal requirements for travellers (outlined above).
If you are travelling abroad for Vancouver Film School business or study, please contact VFS Human Resources: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are concerned you may have COVID-19 symptoms and want to do a self-assessment, please visit:
To find a testing location near you, please visit:
Prevention & daily check-in
VFS has stepped up its facilities and janitorial services by frequently wiping down high-touch, and high-traffic areas. Most importantly, VFS will continue to promote the following best practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as noted by the BC Provincial Health Authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Canadian Centre for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, VFS staff and students must:
- Complete a daily self-assessment before coming to VFS (see link above).
- Wear a mask (masks are mandatory on the VFS campus).
- Wash hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- If you must sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If a tissue was used, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
Most importantly, if you have any kind of illness or symptom, please stay home, get rest, and take the time to recover.
While the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the risk associated with coronavirus as low thus far, we continue to monitor developments very closely.
The B.C. government has restricted events and gatherings of 50 people or more. Consequently, VFS is currently evaluating all event commitments for the sake of everyone involved.
Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information website.
If you require advice regarding a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your local Medical Health Officer.
For more information on COVID-19
Public Health Agency of Canada — https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
BC Centre for Disease Control — http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus
World Health Organization — https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – Canada.ca:
How COVID-19 is affecting applications to visit, work or study in Canada
International students can travel to Canada only if they are exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose.
If you are an international student, meet the criteria for the travel exemptions, and you want to apply to come to Canada, there are changes to the application process. Learn more on the IRCC website.
If you have questions about COVID-19, please visit: