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

Alcohol is no ordinary commodity – It’s official!

Wednesday 21 December 2016Media release3 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

The Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Alistair Humphrey, has triumphed in a landmark case in the Court of Appeal, which means supermarkets can only display alcohol in separate designated areas, away from checkouts and entrances.

It follows Dr Humphrey's successful appeal at the High Court last November which overturned a decision by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority permitting Bishopdale New World supermarket to display alcohol at the end of supermarket aisles, reversing an earlier decision by the Christchurch District Licensing Committee.

Foodstuffs appealed the High Court decision in the Court of Appeal, but the Court of Appeal agreed with Justice Gendall's earlier decision and dismissed Foodstuff's' argument. Foodstuffs and their subsidiaries have chosen not to take the case any further.

Dr Humphrey says it's been a “David versus Goliath win”, which he's incredibly proud of and very grateful for the support he's received from the Canterbury District Health Board, Medical Officers of Health and public health units around the country in standing up for what is right when it comes to reducing alcohol related harm.

“This decision means that we will be able to choose when and where we buy our alcohol, instead of having it in our faces whenever we are doing our grocery shopping,” Dr Humphrey says.

“Alcohol is often an impulse purchase, like confectionery, so where it is placed in the supermarket can make a huge difference to sales.”

Placement of alcohol in a store can affect its sales by as much as 20 percent or more.

“It is remarkable to think that more than a fifth of alcohol bought in supermarkets would not have been bought if the shopper had not noticed it,” he says.

“The Court of Appeal's ruling sets a legal precedent – supermarkets in New Zealand will need to consider the design of their stores carefully before applying for off licences.”

The interpretation of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act by the High Court, and accepted by the Court of Appeal is that not only should alcohol be kept away from entrances and the checkouts, but also further reduce exposure to as far as is reasonably practicable.

For example, obvious signage visible from all areas of the store is not reducing shoppers' exposure, nor is end of aisle displays and it is reasonably practicable for a store to remove these, or not have them in the first place.

The cost of alcohol harm in New Zealand is more than $5 billion a year, but our revenue from excise tax is a little over $1billion [1]. It seems unfair that the ordinary New Zealand tax payer should subsidise the alcohol industry.

Dr Humphrey has commended the design of some new supermarkets, which are being built in a way that is helping to reduce alcohol exposure.

“It's really pleasing to see that most of the new supermarkets being built are taking their responsibilities seriously and building completely separate areas for selling alcohol. This ruling will help make this kind of separation the norm in New Zealand, as it already is in other countries” Dr Humphrey says.


[1] Slack A, Nana G, Webster M, Stokes F, Wu, J. 2009. Costs of harmful alcohol and other drug use. Final Report to the Ministry of Health and ACC. (BERL report)


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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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