Screening checkpoints are among the measures set to disappear on May 1. Photo credit: Rory Friend

As of May 1, Algonquin College will be lifting its vaccine and mask mandates to align with provincial regulations.

In an email sent to students and faculty, President Claude Brulé announced the incoming changes. “The change is based on recent lifting of most provincial restrictions, advice from our public health and government officials,” he wrote.

These changes will see the college return to life prior to the enactment of COVID-19 regulations. All doors to the school will be open for the first time since the start of the 2020 school year, allowing students to enter and exit through whichever door they prefer.

With the lifting of restrictions on entering and exiting the buildings, the active screening measures in place at entrances will end and the self-screening mobile application will be discontinued.

While the screening checkpoints will no longer be in place, community members are still encouraged to self-screen for symptoms and to stay home if they are feeling unwell.

Despite rising case numbers in Ottawa, the latest relaxing of restrictions includes the lifting of the mask mandate. Masks may still be required in certain instances such as health care or clinical settings within the college.

While there will be no requirement to wear masks, the email reminds the community to “respect individuals’ personal choice in this regard.”

The college will continue to closely monitor the situation and Brulé notes any signs of a new wave or a change in provincial regulations could result in the reimplementation of these health measures.

Brulé closed his email with a message of hope.

“These are encouraging signs and I have been really pleased to see many more employees and learners on campus since the mid-term break,” he wrote. “I look forward to seeing an even more vibrant and lively atmosphere on our campuses with the advent of our spring-summer term.”