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. 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

Canterbury’s government agencies team up to support COVID-19 Care in the Community

Friday 17 December 2021Canterbury DHB News3 minutes to read

care in the community COVID-19

Care in the Community resources available –

Canterbury’s Regional Public Service Commissioner for Canterbury and the Chatham Islands, Ben Clark, said while health was the lead agency, all government agencies in Canterbury had a role to play to ensure the people they serve and support were prepared for a significant increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in our region.

“It takes a community to care for a community, and I know there are hundreds of people working across health, wellbeing, mana whenua and NGO social services to ensure that anyone who contracts COVID-19 in Canterbury or the Chatham Islands will be well supported, whether self-isolating in their own home or in an alternative community facility, including managed isolation and quarantine facilities,” Ben Clark said.

Senior Responsible Officer for COVID-19 at Canterbury DHB, Dr Helen Skinner, said most people with COVID-19 are likely to have a mild illness.

“It’s important that people’s health and wellbeing is monitored by a clinical team as well as self-monitoring while in isolation. It’s also vital that people isolating at home know who and when to call for help if their health deteriorates,” Dr Skinner said.

“This week we’ve gone live with a dedicated COVID-19 Care in the Community page on our website.

“This site provides useful information on practical things we can all do now to ensure we are all ready for when COVID-19 is more widespread in our community, along with guidance for those who are self-isolating and resources for community support providers.  

“If you’re heading away on holiday, have you made a plan to cover what you’ll do if you or one of your whānau catches COVID-19? Where will you isolate? What about vulnerable people you know who might be older and live alone or have a disability – how can you support others you care about?  

“The new section on our website also provides links to information on what it means to be a close, casual, or household close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and there’s information on what to expect and who can support you after you’ve tested positive,” Dr Skinner said.

“The best thing we can all do now to protect ourselves is to be fully vaccinated, including having a booster dose if it’s six months since you had your second dose of Pfizer vaccine.

“When you leave the house remember: Mask, Scan and Pass – wear your mask, scan in everywhere you go, and show your COVID-19 pass when you need to.

“It makes the job of contact tracers so much easier when you have a good record of where you have been.  Once we start getting more cases in the community, we’ll all start receiving alerts to say we’ve been at a Location of Interest – it’s important to follow the public health advice provided.

Vaccination Clinics and Community Based Testing Centres are open throughout the holiday period.

“Under the ORANGE setting people who are vaccinated can enjoy a lot of freedoms – with masks, so I hope Cantabrians manage to enjoy catching up and socialising with friends and whānau in ways that keep everyone safe these holidays,” Dr Skinner said.



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Page last updated: 17 December 2021

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