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

Dates announced for the first services to move to the Burwood Hospital Campus

Monday 1 February 2016Media release3 minutes to read

The first of Canterbury's new Christchurch-based hospital facilities will be open and in use in just over four months.

The new facilities at Burwood are part of the Government's $650 million plus developments at Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals.

The Burwood facilities include over 32,500m2 of new ward blocks for medical, rehabilitation and mental health services for older people. There will also be new outpatient areas, including radiology and pharmacy areas. The new buildings link to the current Burwood facilities and will have a brand new entrance off Burwood Road.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says it's great to be able to announce dates for the moving in to the new facilities at Burwood Hospital.

Mr Meates says it's going to be an exceptionally busy time as the inpatient wards for older people at The Princess Margaret Hospital will be relocating to the brand new facility and others will move to the new site from within the Burwood campus.

Panorama burwood 17 dec 2015.jpg”It's a complex process fitting out and moving in to a new hospital but we aim to be all moved in by June 16, 2016. It takes just a few hours to move each ward, and the process will be carefully planned to minimise disruption to patients. We will keep patients and their families updated on plans closer to the moves,” he says.

​Taking advantage of the Queen's Birthday long weekend at the beginning of June, Mr Meates says the move will take place as a gradual “cascade” of moves.

“We will be fitting out the new facilities at Burwood from the end of May.

“Radiology, which includes the Canterbury Community Radiology Facility currently based in Merivale, will be the first to make the move.

“This is because it will take time to set up their equipment on site at Burwood. Our new Burwood facilities will be fully operational to all outpatients and ready to admit inpatients by June, 13, 2016.”

The new hospital reception area, the new pharmacy and the first ward will all be up and running on June 13.

Mr Meates says ahead of the move, a team of migration planners are busy working hard behind the scenes, with staff training and orientation to the new ways of working in the new facilities about to get underway.

“Staff need to be congratulated for their efforts so far and for what they'll be doing between now and then to get everyone ready.”

There will be a number of events take place before teams move in to Burwood. These include farewells to old facilities, blessings of the new buildings and open days for staff and the public.

​​​Burwood – Fast Facts
When finished the hospital will have been transformed to include 230 inpatient beds

It will manage 80,000 outpatient visits every year

The hospital will also feature:

A new ‘front of house' area, including a new main entrance, café and reception

An extended radiology department

A new wing for older persons mental health

A new ‘back of house' area comprising a new hospital kitchen, clean and dirty docks, supply and distribution area and the plant to support these areas.

A new environmentally friendly boiler house that runs on wood waste

Large car parking area for staff, patients and visitors

Landscaped grounds and new signage

​Facts about the new buildings at Burwood
Approximately 15,000m3 of soil and sand has been removed

The building footprint is 14,000m2

The approximate area of all floors is 32,500m2

1800 tonnes of structural steel reinforce the new building

Approximately 450 pre-cast panels make up parts of the buildings​

Note: photos and a video are available on request:


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Page last updated: 19 December 2018

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