Mask guidelines

We are making every effort to keep our SFU community safe, and wearing a mask is one of the layers of protection we have in place to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community this fall. It is everyone's responsibility to understand these guidelines so that we can do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe.

On this page you will find more information about how masks are being implemented at SFU based on the Return to Campus Public Health Guidance released by the Provincial Health Officer on September 1, 2021.

Last updated: September 09, 2021

Wearing a mask

Masks are required in all indoor common areas, libraries and learning spaces for everyone 5 years and older including students, faculty, staff and visitors across all SFU campuses consistant with Public Heath orders.

Masks are required

Masks are required in all SFU indoor common areas and learning spaces including:

  • Lobbies, hallways, bathrooms, sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity and in coffee shops and restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table.
  • Libraries at all times. 
  • Lecture theatres, classrooms, teaching laboratories and other indoor instructional settings.
  • Research areas where more than one person is present.

Masks are not required

For instructors and other presenters in learning spaces:

  • When behind a barrier or two metres away from students while teaching in indoor public spaces.

For employees in workspaces:

  • Office areas or shared offices that do not serve the public.
  • Meetings and seminars in small meeting rooms.
  • Although it is not a requirement, some people may choose to wear a mask during meetings.
  • In areas where a person is behind a barrier that separates them from other people, like a divider, cubicle, or in a room by themselves.

Where to get masks on campuses

Community members can pick up masks at Student Central in Burnaby and at the information desks in Vancouver and Surrey.

We also encourage all faculties and departments to make disposable masks available for anyone who needs them. Disposable masks can be ordered for a faculty or department through Central Stores.


How to effectively wear a mask

Masks must cover both your nose and mouth and are most effective when worn properly. Visit the BC CDC website to learn more.

Be kind and respect preferences

Although masks are not required in some work spaces, people may still choose to wear them. Before entering someone’s workspace or meeting room, ask whether they prefer to wear masks or not. Be flexible and respectful of their decisions and find compromises that meet both of your needs.


You may be eligible for an exemption if you have a disability or other protected characteristic under the Human Rights Code that prevents you from being able to wear a mask. Types of exemptions are outlined in the Face Coverings (COVID-19) Public Health Order.

If you cannot wear a mask, we encourage physical distancing.

Student exemptions

If you require an exemption for:

Staff/Faculty exemptions


It’s important to take an educational and supportive approach to enforcement. If you see someone not wearing a mask, please don’t make assumptions, as they may have a mask exemption.

Campus public safety

If CPS sees someone not wearing a mask, they will remind them of the safety measures in place, and let them know where to get a mask on campus. If the individual refuses to comply with the mask requirement, the matter will be documented and may be escalated to the appropriate office for follow-up.


If a student does not have an approved exemption and won't wear a mask, it is recommended that instructors:

  1. Attempt a non-confrontational approach with a non-compliant student (e.g. a private conversation with the student).
  2. If a student continues to refuse to wear a mask instructors have the right to ask the student to leave the classroom or to leave the classroom themselves.
  3. If there is an identified risk to the safety of others, instructors can call Campus Public Safety.
  4. Instructors may wish to discuss repeated occurrence, and where appropriate the complaint process under University policy S10.05 Student Conduct with the Office of Student Support, Rights, and Responsibilities.

Managers and supervisors

People leaders have an important role to play in building and maintaining a respectful and inclusive work environment. As a people leader, you are asked to role model supportive and respectful behaviours when sharing information and reminders with members of the university community.  

  1. Communicate expectations - Ensure your team is are familiar with SFU’s Mask guidelines found on this page.
  2. Remind of requirements - If you become aware of an employee not wearing a mask in a common indoor space start with sharing information and reminding them of the requirements.
  3. Inquire - For employees who continue to not wear a face covering despite reminders, approach from a place of curiosity and find out why they are not wearing a mask. They might require an exemption.  
  4. Inform -  If an employee does not have an exemption and is unwilling to wear a mask in required areas, ensure the employee understands that disregarding the requirement will be addressed via progressive discipline under the applicable collective agreement/policy.
  5. Managers and supervisors may wish to discuss how to address repeated occurrences with HR and Faculty Relations. 

How long will masks be required?

Masks will be required until further notice. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely with public health and will inform the community when public health measures change.

Questions and More information

Email questions about masks and other SFU COVD-19 safety Protocols to

You can also submit COVID-19 related safety concerns to the COVID-19 Safety Reporting Form where anonymous reporting is available.