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

Cantabrians urged to get vaccinated on Super Saturday

Wednesday 13 October 2021Media release4 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.

FUSH will be at Ngā Hau e Whā on Saturday serving up delicious kai to those being vaccinated

Please attribute comment to Dr Helen Skinner, Senior Responsible Officer for Canterbury’s COVID-19 response:

With Summer just eight weeks away we need Cantabrians who haven’t already received their COVID-19 vaccinations to get them now, so we can enjoy everything a classic Kiwi summer has to offer.

Approximately 82 percent of our eligible enrolled Canterbury population is now either fully vaccinated, has had a single dose or is booked to receive their vaccination – and it’s never been easier for the rest to get a vaccination with Super Saturday coming to Canterbury.

Our region is gearing up for a big day of COVID-19 vaccinations this Saturday 16 October. The DHB is bolstering vaccination capacity across the region, including extra staff being brought on board, with the aim of making vaccinations as accessible as possible for those dropping in.

There will be a number of ways people can receive their vaccinations. These include community events and extended hours drop-in vaccination clinics across our region, throughout the day.

We’ll be turning up the music and dishing out free kai for those coming along to our drive-through vaccination clinic at the Christchurch Arena, to create a festival-like atmosphere for people to enjoy. We’re extending the clinic’s hours as well, to 9am-7.30pm on Saturday.

We’re also hosting a community vaccination and information clinic at Ki te Tihi Hapori Hauora in Eastgate Mall from 10am-4pm. There will be a bouncy castle for kids, free sausage sizzle and vouchers and prizes on offer from the mall’s businesses.

The Etu Pasifika Vaccination Centre in Montreal Street will be open for drop-ins and drive-through vaccinations on Saturday between 9am-4pm. People attending will have the opportunity to speak directly to Pasifika clinicians about COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae vaccination clinic is also open from 9am-4pm for drop-ins and will have free kai on hand from Anton Matthews’ Fush team once again.

For those in the Hurunui District on Saturday, there will be a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Amberley Farmers Market at the Hurunui District Council Chambers from 9am-1pm. Anyone can stop by to receive their vaccination at the market.

Last but certainly not least, we are launching the ‘JabberWaka’ – our mobile vaccination motorhome in Kaiapoi this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the JabberWaka will be at the Kaiapoi Park and Ride site on Charles Street from 11am-5.30pm. A shuttle van will be running from the Kaiapoi Spring Festival on Sunday to take people to the vaccination site and back.

Free transport will be provided throughout Canterbury, with Metro showing their support by offering free bus rides to and from vaccination clinics on all Metro services on Saturday and right through until mid-December. This includes any whānau, caregivers, and support people.

If you’re part of the 20% of people across New Zealand who have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, and you’ll be in Canterbury this weekend, now’s your chance! It’s going to be super easy to get vaccinated on Super Saturday.

If you know someone who is yet to get vaccinated, we still need your help. Support and encourage your friends, whānau, and colleagues who are hesitant about getting vaccinated, or haven’t done so yet.

The push to get as many people vaccinated as possible this weekend will continue in Canterbury on Sunday as pop-up events and primary care clinics keep up the hard mahi. The Waikari Health Centre will be open on Sunday 17 October from 10am-1pm. There are also drop-in vaccination events at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (EFKS) in Woolston on Sunday from 10am-3pm and at the Hampstead Rugby Club in Ashburton from 9am–4pm on Sunday.

Details of Super Saturday events, including other drop-in clinics hosted by primary care, can be found on our website:



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 3 November 2021

Is this page useful?