All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so we recommend all people wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

To keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks are recommended to be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people). Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their face mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

All of our Hospitals

Visiting hours for our hospitals have returned to pre COVID-19 hours with the exception of Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed, except for the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay where just one parent/caregiver is able to attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions by special arrangement only.

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

More COVID-19 information

Smoke from fire South of SH1 Waipara, North Canterbury – Public Health Warning

Smoke from fire at North Canterbury locations – Public Health Warning

Smoke from fire south of SH1, Waipara, North Canterbury – Public Health Warning

Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service has issued a public health warning for smoke from the fire located near Glasnevin in the Hurunui District (Canterbury).

Air around this location is smoky and there is potential that people who are sensitive to smoke – such as those with heart or lung conditions, people who are pregnant, young children and the elderly – may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health National Public Health Service says exposure to smoke can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as heart and lung disease.

“People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise.”

The experience of being exposed to an event like a fire can be distressing and it’s normal to feel anxious in situations like this. If you are feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to, you can call or text 1737 any time and you can speak to (or text) a trained counsellor free of charge or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If you see or smell smoke outside, you should stay inside if it is safe to do so.

Remember to:

  • Keep your windows and doors shut.
  • Switch your air conditioning to ‘recirculate’.
  • Air out your house when the smoke clears.
  • Look out for children, older people, and others at risk.
  • Keep pets inside with clean water and food. Keep pets’ bedding inside if possible. 


For further information, contact:

Page last updated: 7 February 2024

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