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

Family voices speak volumes: Care of psychogeriatric dementia patients from the Rosewood cluster being cared for at Burwood Hospital

Wednesday 15 April 2020Media release3 minutes to read


Care of psychogeriatric dementia patients from the Rosewood cluster being cared for at Burwood Hospital

Statement from Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates

The staff in Ward GG at Burwood Hospital are working in an extremely challenging environment, providing complex care to fragile, elderly people.

Their performance is and has been outstanding. I am extremely proud of the level of care our staff are providing.

I can assure all families who have a loved one who was transferred from Rosewood Rest Home & Hospital to Burwood that whenever a resident is receiving end of life care, a caring staff member is always with them, reassuring them and ensuring that they are comfortable.

The team have received a lot of feedback that attests to the compassionate care being provided. A sample of this is included below.

Feedback from families

“Many thanks to all the staff who cared for my dad to the end. I will always hold a huge part in my heart for you. So kind of you to play dad's video. I am sure it helped him pass. I hope to one day be able to thank you both in person. Bless you both.”

“They are just amazing, doing an incredible job. The communication with us was superb – we had lots of calls, including facetime calls with dad. We’re so grateful.” 

“We couldn’t speak more highly of the staff and care dad received, both at Burwood and at Rosewood. They skyped with dad and the nurse caring for him arranged for him to see a video the family had put together, and there were lots of phone calls.”

“I am absolutely over the moon and delighted I spoke with her. You are doing such a stellar job and words could never match what you do. God bless, take care and may the Lord shower you with love. Aroha Mai.”

“Lovely to meet you on Facetime this morning. Thank you so much for looking after mum, we are a family really appreciate your care, kindness and understanding.”

“Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for the video chat with dad this morning, it gave us a bit of peace. I cant imagine how hard it is to keep smiling and being supportive while there are people hurting behind closed doors. Thank you and your team for all you are doing.”

“You are just a blessing to our loved ones…be safe… you are appreciated so much.”

“I’m so pleased dad is under your care, we are so lucky to have you in charge of our loved ones at this time. Thank you so very much.”

“Bless you, you are an absolute angel to the family.”

“Nice of you to make the time (to call), it makes things a bit less stressful when I get an update.”

“You and your team are the most caring people I have ever come across.”



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Page last updated: 16 April 2020

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