WINNIPEG -- The University of Manitoba has made the decision to make masks mandatory on campus for all faculty, staff and students, as well as visitors, contractors and vendors.

Masks are now mandatory in all indoor common or shared spaces on campus, including hallways, lobbies, libraries, study spaces and elevators. The university noted masks will also be required in any locations where social distancing can’t be maintained.

“As Manitoba’s only research intensive university, UM plays an important role in maintaining the health and safety of our campuses and the broader community,” the university said in a news release.

“By requiring masks to be worn in all of its facilities, the university is demonstrating a clear commitment to support Manitoba’s efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”

The university said the decision to require masks came as a recommendation from its COVID recovery working group, with the vice president of administration and president approving it.

In a news release, the university noted some other rules around mask-use, including:

  • Masks aren’t required in individual offices, unless physical distancing can’t be maintained
  • Students and instructors can choose to take off their masks in classrooms, as long as they can keep a two-metre distance from one and other;
  • Masks can be removed while people are exercising in the Active Living Centre, Joe Doupe Recreation Centre and other recreation facilities, as long as they can maintain physical distancing; and
  • Students living in residence must wear masks in common and designated areas.

The school said it’s planning to give all students, faculty and staff two reusable cloth masks, with visitors, contractors and vendors required to bring their own.

The mandatory mask-use went into effect on the Bannatyne campus on Aug. 24 and will take effect for all other campuses on Sept. 1.