Coronavirus (COVID-19):
VFS monitoring & response

Updated: Oct. 13, 2020

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 1A 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 2Some 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 3A 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, 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 each program, each stream, and each term had different levels of hands-on activities, students heard directly from their program administrators regarding the Phase 1 steps.

Consideration was also given to students who were not residing in Vancouver. Program administrators communicated directly with these students to recommend the best way to stay engaged from a distance or, for some programs, advised on when it would be appropriate to return to Vancouver. Any return to Vancouver was done, and will continue to be done, in full consultation with program administrators and with respect to all provincial and federal government restrictions.

As of August 31, 2020, some programs have resumed limited on-campus activities. We will keep everyone informed through school-wide and program-specific updates. We are closely following the announcements and recommendations of health authorities and keeping informed about other factors such as travel restrictions into Canada.

For complete details about resumption of activities at VFS, please consult the administration staff for a given program, as well as 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

Our message to all prospective and enrolled students, as well as their parents and guardians, is about our increased response to COVID-19, and how we’re empowering everyone at VFS to make decisions that are best for their health.

VFS has established a COVID-19 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 will need to stay away from work and school for 14 days upon your return. Should any symptoms arise during the 14-day monitoring period, immediately limit your contact with others and call 8-1-1.

If you are travelling abroad for Vancouver Film School business or study, please contact Andrew Tsang.

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.


Offshore requests to visit VFS

On March 18, 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.

Visitors who had arrived from the U.S. prior to the closure must observe a 14-day isolation period before visiting VFS, as established by the provincial and federal governments.

All visitor requests (i.e. agents, school representatives, visiting scholars, third-party vendors, etc.) are to be reported to the relevant Department Supervisor for approval.


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.

Travellers must submit a B.C. self-isolation plan and complete the federal ArriveCAN application for approval prior to their return to B.C., or upon arrival.

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:
    • Food
    • Medication
    • 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 events

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.


For more information on COVID-19

Public Health Agency of Canada —

BC Centre for Disease Control —

World Health Organization —


Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) –

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:

or call:
1.888.COVID.19 (1.888.268.4319)