The University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and seven other Alberta post-secondary institutions will require all students, staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated to attend campus, building on previously announced plans.
Enhanced safety measures against COVID-19 have been adopted by the U of A, the U of C, University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, NAIT, SAIT, Medicine Hat College and NorQuest College, the institutions said Monday in a joint news release.
Students, staff and visitors will also be required to provide proof of their vaccination status and rapid testing will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination, the news release said.
Rapid testing will only be acceptable "for campus community members who cannot be vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds outlined in the Alberta Human Rights Act," it said.
CBC has sought comment from the provincial government.
Opposition NDP advanced education critic David Eggen said proof of vaccination should be required province-wide.
"Post-secondary schools were hung out to dry to make these decisions," Eggen said Monday.
"Their focus should be on the education of our future leaders, and not having to make public health decisions without the evidence that [Premier] Jason Kenney has at his fingertips and is refusing to follow."
Tim Rahilly, president and vice chancellor of Mount Royal University (MRU), said it was important for the institutions to come out as a united front because the nine schools represent the majority of students in the province.
"Moving together and having that kind of consistency really helps us as we move forward during uncertain times," he said in an interview.
Implementation dates and details for the new measures will vary from institution to institution according to their specific needs and policies, the news release said.
Rahilly said that for MRU, the mandate will be in effect starting in the new year.