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

Canterbury rural hospitals update

Wednesday 13 July 2022Media release2 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.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Omicron, new COVID-19 subvariants, flu and other respiratory illnesses, are putting additional significant pressure on our health system. While this isn’t unexpected in winter, hospitals across the Canterbury region, as are other health districts around New Zealand, have been experiencing pressure.

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury says continued sustained pressures on the health system have delayed re-opening its rural community hospitals in Ellesmere, Darfield and Waikari.

“While these hospitals have been closed for longer than originally anticipated, communities, patients and staff can be assured that we have established planning and processes in place for coping with these types of seasonal pressures,” says Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing.

“However at this stage, we do not have a definite date yet for re-opening these rural hospitals, as it is dependent on the ongoing demands of COVID-19 and other pressures on our health system, including workforce needs which continue to be challenging.

“While we are working through when we can reopen the rural hospitals, we are also taking this opportunity to discuss with our rural communities, including our staff who are a vital part of these communities, how we might deliver in the future an improved mix of services in these rural areas that makes the best possible use of our resources and allows some services to be provided closer to home.”

“I want to reassure people that if they need care or help from health professionals, they should keep going to the places where they would usually get care, whether it’s a GP or specialist appointment in hospital. Care and delivery will continue.

“Moving forward, local health services are going to be designed around the needs and priorities of communities, with clear requirements for active engagement and consultation. Changes to the way health is delivered will mean local people and their communities, including iwi, will have a say on which health services are provided, and how they’ll be provided,” says Becky Hickmott.

“This engagement, which we are in the process of getting underway, will form the basis of a plan for our rural communities.

“We all want New Zealanders to have easier access to quality health care closer to home – no matter who they are or where they live.”



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 26 February 2024

Is this page useful?