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

Eye Outpatients

Appointments during Alert Level 2 - Updated 8 September 2021

Canterbury DHB is advising people with acute ophthalmology (eye) conditions to still seek the care they need. In addition, those with scheduled injection appointments with our Ophthalmology service should still attend their appointments following Alert Level 2 guidelines. More information

Please note...

  • There can be delays in seeing patients so we advise not to schedule another appointment within two hours of your eye appointment time.
  • You may be required to see more than one health professional at an appointment visit. There is often more than one clinic running simultaneously, so the waiting times for each of the clinics may be different.
  • Remember, if you’re not sure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The Canterbury DHB Eye Outpatients Department treat people with a serious eye problems, who have been referred by an optometrist or a doctor. Please see an after-hours GP if you need urgent treatment.

  • The Eye Outpatients services are now on Level 2 of the Christchurch Outpatients building at 245 Antigua Street/2 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. 
  • There is a drop-off and pick-up zone outside the Outpatients building, parking is very limited, so you are likely to need to park further away. We recommend use of the Deans Avenue cap park and hospital shuttle bus.
  • Hospital volunteers are usually on hand in the Christchurch Outpatients building foyer to help any patients who need assistance.

  • The eye nurse or orthoptist will check your vision.
  • They may also put eye drops into your eyes which helps us see your eyes better. These eye drops can last more than 24 hours. They make your eyes blurry and make you sensitive to light for that time.
  • You may have an appointment with the orthoptist and with the doctor as well who will ask questions about your vision, medical history and look into your eyes and may ask you to look up or down.
  • They will put a patch over one eye at a time and play matching games with you to test your vision.
  • The consultation with doctor will be much the same as the orthoptist.

  • Receptionist
  • Orthoptists (specialised staff member working with children with eye problems)
  • Eye Nurses
  • Eye Doctors

  • If you wear glasses please bring these with you.
  • Sunglasses or a hat will protect you from being light sensitive after you have dilating eye drops.
  • Also bring snacks, drinks and games or books to amuse you for what may be a long wait.
  • If you have a baby: Having a spare change of nappies for your baby is a good idea due to wait times.

Page last updated: 8 September 2021

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