Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See for info about vaccinations.

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

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, 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 (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides 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 – 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 support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens 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 children are allowed to visit.
  • 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, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • 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.

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.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

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

More COVID-19 information


About accessibility 

This page provides information about the accessibility of the Canterbury DHB public website, it also provides information about health services associated with accessibility and disability.

Services and information for people with disability

A list of web pages with information about services that relate to disability or accessibility is below. Over time this page will be expanded to provide a more comprehensive range of Canterbury health service information for people living with a disability.

Page / Document Description
Getting ready – Being prepared – Disability Supplement Information to assist people living with a disability, or someone with a long term health condition to plan for COVID-19 in the community.
COVID-19 care in the community – Be COVID-Ready – practical things you can do now

If you are a person living with a disability, let the public health team know (they will have contacted you after your positive test was confirmed) and they will make sure you have the help you need to get you through.

There is lots of information and resources in alternative formats and languages other than English linked from the Unite Against COVID-19 homepage. Click on the languages button top right on the Unite Against COVID-19 website for information in other languages and formats or chose one of these:

COVID-19 information in New Zealand Sign Language

COVID-19 information in Easy Read

COVID-19 information in Large Print and Audio

COVID-19 information – audio description

COVID-19 information in Braille

If you have specific health needs, also let the public health team know what you need.

Information about using health services during COVID-19 Under all COVID-19 Alert Levels where hospital visitor restrictions are in place, an exception will be made for people living with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment– where they need a support person to ensure equitable access to health services. For example a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.
Disability/Mobility car parks map for Christchurch Hospital If you are a mobility parking permit holder you can park in one of the designated mobility car parking spaces indicated by a wheelchair icon on this parking map.
Contacting us – I am deaf / have hearing loss. How can I contact you? NZ Relay is a telecommunications service for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired, deaf-blind, or speech-impaired. All NZ Relay calls to us are confidential, your conversation and information is are kept private and secure.
Disability Steering Group (DSG) The purpose of this group is to ensure people living with disabilities in the Canterbury and West Coast District Health Board areas have the health services they need, and feel included in decisions about their health.
Canterbury and West Coast Health Disability Action Plan (PDF, 600KB) The DSG has the Canterbury and West Coast Health Disability Action Plan as the focus for its work. The Plan identifies short-term goals to be achieved in the first two years, and longer-term goals over the ten year lifespan of the Plan.

What is an accessible website?

An accessible website is one that accommodates a full range of people, removing barriers so that a website can be used by anyone, regardless of disability.

This website aims to achieve and maintain very good website accessibility, delivering as many WAI Level AA and AAA guidelines as achievable.

In February 2021 this website passed a WCAG 2 AA and WCAG 2 AAA check using the website accessibility testing tool Although compliance with WCAG guidelines is not the only indicator of website accessibility, it does confirm that this website has a good basic level of accessibility and has been built in a professional and considerate way.

WCAG 2.0 (Level AA)

WCAG 2.0 (Level AAA)

Due to the complexity and changing nature of accessibility compliance, it is challenging to consistently maintain 100% compliance with all accessibility best practices. However, as part of our commitment to meet the objectives of the Canterbury DHB Disability Action Plan we do plan to continuously improve the accessibility of our website, so that Canterbury health services are accessible to all people.

Help to use websites 

You can use your browser and operating system settings to change how you view websites that you visit. For advice, we recommend visiting the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's page on this topic.

Page last updated: 22 February 2022

Is this page useful?