Manitoba

Manitoba's 2 largest universities plan to lift vaccine requirements this spring

The University of Manitoba will no longer require staff, students or visitors who visit campus to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the spring, but everyone must wear masks, the university announced on Monday.

U of W also lifting mask requirement, while U of M still mandates their use

The University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, pictured in a 2020 file picture, is among a number of universities in the province doing away with vaccine mandates as the Omicron wave recedes. (Dana Hatherly/CBC)

The University of Manitoba will no longer require staff, students or visitors who visit campus to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the spring, but everyone must wear masks, the university announced on Monday.

The university says that it will lift the proof of vaccination requirement as of May 4, according to a message from Michael Benarroch, the president and vice chancellor.

"As the Omicron wave is receding, we are cautiously increasing in-person activity and looking to ease some restrictions," the message says. 

"We are committed to ensuring our community's health and safety. If the public health situation significantly changes before Summer Term, we will reassess our plans."

Masks will continue to be mandatory for campus and the university is working on improving its ventilation systems.

Last week, the University of Winnipeg announced similar loosening of restrictions.

The downtown university's interim president and provost announced they plan to lift mask and vaccine mandates on May 2.

"We are hopeful that the public health situation will continue to improve, but if the risk of transmission increases, we are prepared to reintroduce mask and vaccine mandates," said James Currie and Jan Stewart in an online notice on March 14.

Canadian Mennonite University announced on March 10 that vaccine requirements will expire after the winter term exam period on April 27, and all new students who register will not be subject to the requirement.

Masks will continue to be required across campus until the end of the winter term.

The province lifted its mask mandates on March 15, and vaccine mandates were nixed on March 1.

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