Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information


10 documents.

COVID-19 hospitalisations

I've heard there are a few patients that have been hospitalised for more than month.

  • How many patients have there been?
  • How long have they each stayed in hospital?
  • How many have had to go into ICU and how long have they each stayed there (as part of their total time in hospital)?
  • And were they on a ventilator when in ICU? How many of these patients were vaccinated when they presented at hospital?

If there are any other details that can be provided too (eg. age, ethnicity, sex) that would be appreciated.


More informationDownload pdf (200KB)

Emergency Department COVID-19 vaccinations

  • A list of all district health board emergency departments that have a policy to provide COVID -19 vaccinations to unvaccinated people (COVID-19 ) who attend the emergency department
  • A list of all district health board emergency departments, paediatric debarments or wards that have a policy to provide childhood immunisations to all unvaccinated children who attend the department or ward.
  • What plan each district health board has to connect people or children not currently enrolled in primary care who attend the emergency department or other departments - in primary care ( registered with a PHO) - currently only 84% of Māori are enrolled in primary care (PHO).


More informationDownload pdf (200KB)

Emergency Department presentations 2020-21

Please provide a breakdown of all emergency admission (presentations) numbers in 2020 and 2021, broken down by month. Please include a categorisation of the types of admission (presentation) also.


More informationDownload pdf (1MB)

Hospitals at Code Red and Code Black during 2021

Number of days hospitals spent in 'Code Red' and 'Code Black' 2021 calendar year (Jan-Dec).


More informationDownload pdf (300KB)

COVID-19 hospitalisations

  • Covid hospitalisation directly related to covid and covid only.
  • Covid hospitalisation where patient was admitted for another reason and covid was detected after arriving at the hospital.
  • ICU and HDU beds used for covid only infections.
  • ICU and HDU beds used for non-covid conditions where a covid test after arriving at the hospital showed infection.


More informationDownload pdf (200KB)

COVID-19 related hospital admissions

Please indicate what is your exact procedure for determining that hospital admissions in this current time are in fact directly due to Covid-19.

i.e. are you testing people who are admitting themselves for something non respiratory related and if they test positive after admission for sars cov 2 are you listing it as a covid admission regardless ?

i.e. people who are admitted for something respiratory related that is later diagnosed as not sars cov 2, are you indicating them as covid hospitalisations if they return a positive test during admission.


More informationDownload pdf (200KB)

Emergency Department presentations

ED / Emergency Department admissions 2020 and 2021 broken down by month and types of admissions.


More informationDownload pdf (1MB)

Emergency Department presentations 2020/2021

  • How many people admitted to emergency department since 1st March until now.
  • As well compared from 1st March 2020 until 31st December 2020.
  • Also breakdown information on reasons for admitting to emergency department.


More informationDownload pdf (1MB)

Emergency Department Presentations during March and July 2021

Data from Christchurch Hospital A&E during the periods of A) Friday 9th July to Tuesday 13th July 2021 B) Friday 16th July to Tuesday 20th July 2021 C) Friday 23rd July to Tuesday 27th July 2021. D) Friday 19th March* to Tuesday 23rd March* 2021.

Please could I have a sex and age break down of causes for all admissions, and numbers thereof, under diagnostic headings, e.g.: blood clots,heart issues,breathing difficulties,RSV,anaphylactic shock,Accidents


More informationDownload pdf (1MB)

Emergency Department RMO staffing, patient volumes and presentations

RMO FTE on ED runs 2016 and 2021, ED patient volumes last five years, ED presentations January and June 2021 by time band and day.


More informationDownload pdf (1MB)

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Page last updated: 28 April 2022

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