MacEwan, U of A immediately opt in to Restrictions Exemption Program; NAIT and Concordia give students until October


When on-campus classes resumed Monday, it was with new requirements from some post-secondary institutions.

The city’s major post-secondary schools – which cancelled on-campus learning for two days to figure out how to apply Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program – have released their plans for the remainder of the semester.


When the Restrictions Exemption Program took effect Monday, it also took effect on the MacEwan University and University of Alberta campuses.

Both institutions told students on Friday they would be participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program immediately.

At the University of Alberta, as per the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program, unvaccinated staff and students were required to submit a negative COVID-19 test every 72 hours. As well, Monday was the deadline for students to have received their first dose of vaccine in time to comply with the school’s vaccine mandate, which starts Nov. 1.

Rapid testing will only be provided by the U of A after Oct. 29 to those who have been approved for a vaccine exemption.

MacEwan University also immediately began participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program on Monday, requiring students to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccinated students were able to register their vaccine status through the school’s app and portal, while negative COVID-19 tests couldn’t be older than 72 hours.

The school previously announced it would implement a vaccine mandate for the winter 2022 term, which would require all staff and students to be fully vaccinated to be on campus. At that point, negative tests will no longer be accepted for access. MacEwan has promised to waive tuition for five fully vaccinated students for the year’s fall and winter terms. Administration said at the end of August 95 per cent of faculty and 86 per cent of students who participated in a voluntary survey had been fully immunized.


Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program will take effect at Concordia University on Oct. 4 and at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology on Oct. 8.

Starting Oct. 4, Concordia students and staff will need to be able to prove they have one dose of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test, and two doses by Oct. 25. Those without two doses or an accepted exemption to the vaccine will not be allowed on campus after Oct. 25.

Concordia’s classes will continue to be held online until Oct. 4.

NAIT students who wish to continue learning on campus will need to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 24 in order to comply with the Restrictions Exemption Program when it takes effect there on Oct. 8. As per the school’s own vaccine mandate, students will need to be able to prove full immunization on Oct. 25, and as of Nov. 8, rapid tests won’t be accepted as an alternative.

Both NAIT and Concordia have extended withdrawal deadlines to Sept. 24 and 21, respectively, for students who do not want to meet the schools’ vaccine requirements.

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