Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See for information about vaccinations.

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

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, 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 where trusted whānau members provide 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 – again, 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 named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s 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 under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

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.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

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

More COVID-19 information

Appointment of Crown Monitor represents opportunity for Canterbury Health System

Friday 14 June 2019Media release3 minutes to read

A Crown Monitor has been appointed to the Canterbury DHB Board

A Crown Monitor has been appointed to the Canterbury District Health Board

Canterbury DHB welcomes Health Minister Dr David Clark’s decision to appoint a Crown Monitor.

Board Chair Dr John Wood says the appointment of Dr Lester Levy as Crown Monitor will provide additional support to the work the DHB is undertaking to improve its financial performance.
“The DHB continues to respond to a number of unique and long-term challenges, including the aftermath of the earthquakes and our redevelopment needs, as well as the recent impacts of the 15 March terrorist attacks.

“Reaching a stronger financial position will ensure that Canterbury DHB is better positioned to respond to these challenges.

“Financial sustainability and complex funding requirements require a joint approach. Canterbury DHB continues to work with the Ministry of Health, and also external consultants, EY, to strengthen our ongoing work and future planning to improve our sustainability and we now have a better relationship platform on which to build. Dr Levy’s input into this work will be valuable.
“Following the Minister’s visit to meet with DHB members this week, the announcement of a Crown Monitor to be added to the Board creates a great opportunity to ensure that the Government and Canterbury DHB are well aligned in their understanding of the complexity of the Canterbury health landscape.
“I appreciate the consideration the Government has put into selecting Dr Levy as Crown Monitor, recognising his extensive skills and experience that will now support the Board in navigating the challenges we will continue to face.
“As Chair of the Board I welcome the appointment of the Crown Monitor to the DHB to support our continued focus on the health and wellbeing of the Canterbury community,” says Dr Wood.
Dr Lester Levy says he is looking forward to the opportunity to provide extra support to Canterbury DHB.
“I have a deep respect and empathy for the people of Canterbury. The DHB has admirably responded to the earthquakes and the recent terror attack. I will be undertaking my role with this important context in mind.
“I have over 40 years of experience working in the health sector in a range of challenging leadership and governance roles, dealing with large scale, wide-ranging and complex issues.
“As Chair of Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau DHBs, I worked closely with my Board colleagues, management and staff to improve clinical and financial performance. I also provided oversight on the development of the long-term investment plan for the Northern region, addressing future infrastructure needs.
“Given my background and experience, as well as the challenges I’ve dealt with, I believe I have a sound strategic overview of the sector complexities, as well as the opportunities provided by new technologies and contemporary models of care.
“I am committed to using my skills and experience to provide constructive input to the Board. The Minister of Health has made it clear that he expects me to assist the DHB to strengthen its financial performance and sustainability, as well as future redevelopment plans,” says Dr Levy.



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Page last updated: 14 June 2019

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