VICTORIA -- British Columbia's minister of advanced education and skills training says universities and colleges will begin to prepare for a full return to campus starting this fall.

In a news release Monday, Anne Kang says she is encouraged by the advice from health officials that students can safely return to in-person classes.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry asked heads of all public colleges and universities to prepare for a full return to on-campus education this September.

Kang says education officials will work with Henry's office to make sure they have the right measures to keep everyone safe.

She says the ministry will also work with health and safety experts, student groups, labour, Indigenous partners and post-secondary institutions to develop guidelines in the coming weeks for a return to campus.

She says institutions can further tailor those guidelines to suit their specific requirements.

“While we update the guidelines to ensure on-campus safety, I encourage students and families to start planning for in-person instruction on a campus of their choice in September,” Kang says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.