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

Call to action to quit

Monday 30 May 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.

Canterbury smokers are being called to action to quit for the sake of their family and protect them from the dangers of second hand smoke.

What better time to do it than on World Smokefree Day tomorrow – Tuesday May 31.

The World Health Organization says tobacco kills up to half of its users – or about six million people worldwide each year. Globally 600,000 are killed by passive (second hand) smoke. In New Zealand 5000 people a year die from smoking or second hand smoking – about 500 of those deaths are in people inhaling other people’s smoke.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says many of those affected by passive smoking are children.

“Second-hand smoke can result in a child experiencing serious respiratory infections, asthma, behavioural and learning difficulties and in the worst case scenario cot death,” Dr Humphrey says.

The health costs of smoking are about $2 billion per year, despite the revenue from tobacco tax collecting only $1 billion.

“We all pay for smoking related diseases. The tragedies borne by families of people with smoking related diseases are enormous: strokes, heart attacks, chronic respiratory disorders, lung cancer and many other cancers,” Dr Humphrey says.

“Overall, one in two people who smoke will die of a smoking related illness and the life expectancy of smokers is 11 years less than non-smokers. Smoking is also a significant contributor to the difference in life expectancy between Maori and Non-Maori.”

According to the last Census, the smoking rate in New Zealand is 15.1 percent. Canterbury’s is 14 percent, which means there are about 62,000 smokers in the Canterbury area and about 80 percent of smokers regret starting smoking, while 65 percent have tried to quit in the past five years.

“Most smokers want to quit, and there are immediate and long-term health benefits for those who do,” Dr Humphrey says.

“The risk of premature death from smoking decreases soon after someone quits smoking and continues to do so for at least 10 to 15 years.”

Dr Humphrey says another massive incentive to quitting is how much money you save if you stop.

“We are not talking small amounts here – someone smoking a pack a day spends about $160 a week on cigarettes, which is nearly $8,500 each year. With the money saved from stopping smoking you could go on holiday, buy a car, or put it towards your mortgage.

“In four years’ time, tax increases will put the price up to around $30 a pack, so the saving will be further increased.”

Help for quitting can be found locally through​ ​and nationally via Quitline 0800 778 778.

New Zealand has a goal of being Smokefree by 2025.

​​​​​​The objectives of World Smokefree Day in New Zealand are:

Raising awareness and contributing to the achievement of the Smokefree 2025 goal.

Enabling better collaboration, planning and coordination of work within regions and across the country.

Raising awareness of the smokefree kaupapa with the underlying objectives of reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and increasing quit attempts.

Enabling continuity and consistency of messaging and creative within regions and across the country.

Building on and complementing current work in tobacco control.



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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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