Post-secondary students might not have to worry about staying 6 feet apart from their peers this fall, thanks to an expected loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at Ontario universities.

Ford's government announced last week that so long as provincewide vaccination rates continue to rise and public health indicators remain positive, schools will largely be able to return to normal, in-person operations this year.

"It is anticipated that all in-person instruction and on-campus activities at PSE institutions would be permitted to resume without capacity limits or physical distancing requirements starting in Fall 2021," Shelley Tapp, deputy minister of Ontario's Ministry of Colleges and Universities, wrote in a memo sent out on July 16.

Tapp encouraged post-secondary institutions to establish opportunities for vaccination clinics and vaccine promotion on campus and during events with high attendance. However, the memo also stated that virtual instruction should also continue to be an option.

Masks and face coverings will remain mandatory for indoor settings and all post-secondary institutions are required to follow provincial and federal public health and workplace safety requirements.

The ministry also stated that an updated Postsecondary Education Public Health Measures Framework will be released in early August of 2021 to align with current public health and safety guidance and advice.