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

100,000 Cantabrians have received their flu jabs so far this flu season

Thursday 19 May 2022Canterbury DHB News3 minutes to read

Influenza vaccinations now available

Influenza vaccinations now available

Getting a flu jab is your best defence against influenza and 100,000 Cantabrians have now received theirs. If you haven’t got yours, it’s important you get a flu vaccination as soon as you can. 

Influenza is increasing in the community and it can cause serious illness. There may also be higher rates of influenza in New Zealand this winter with our borders reopening. Getting immunised against influenza protects our vulnerable communities, especially young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus.

“We know that people might feel they’ve had a lot of vaccinations lately but please get your flu vaccination as it provides the best protection against influenza, especially if you’re one of the people at greater risk of serious illness if you get the flu,” says Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.

“We want to say a big thank you to all of those in our community who have already had their vaccination and now have the best protection against influenza. For many of you, getting your flu vaccination will be free and we really encourage you to get it as soon as possible.”

Currently flu vaccinations are free for pregnant women, those 65 years and older, Māori or Pasifika people 55 and over and people with chronic medical conditions such as respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes – this includes children under 5 years of age. Many workplaces also either hold vaccination clinics or give staff vouchers to get their flu vaccination.

The flu affects the whole body and can last up to a week or more.  As you get older your immune system isn’t as good at protecting you, even if you feel fit and healthy.

“If you have a respiratory illness and test negative for COVID-19 on a Rapid Antigen Test, you could have influenza – please stay at home when you have respiratory symptoms even when it’s not COVID-19. This winter there is the very real possibility of having flu and COVID-19 within a short space of time,” says Dr Pink.

“If you've recently recovered from COVID-19, the flu, or any other illness, you can get your flu jab as soon as you're well. And if you are yet to have your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, you can get it at the same time. There is no need to leave a gap between these vaccinations.”

To prevent the spread of influenza, it is important that people keep up all the good healthy habits we have learnt from COVID-19, like wearing masks, opening windows and doors to increase ventilation where possible and practising good hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing or sanitising your hands.

It is also important to seek medical advice early if you are concerned about your health, even if you have been seen before. Other serious conditions can also look like the flu, including meningococcal disease.

More information about flu vaccinations can be found here:


For further information, contact:


Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 19 May 2022

Is this page useful?