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.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is 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 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

Healthcare information for Labour Weekend in Canterbury

Thursday 20 October 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.

Keep ED for emergencies this long weekend

With the long weekend in our sights, Cantabrians are being encouraged to be prepared for their health care needs over Labour Weekend.

Demand remains high for urgent and afterhours care across all our facilities in Canterbury including Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) and Ashburton Hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit (AAU). If you do not require emergency or acute care, there will be long waiting times as they remain very busy. 

“I need to emphasise that if you are very unwell, we do want to see you so you can get the care you need. In a life-threatening emergency, call 111,” says Becky Hickmott, Senior Responsible Officer for Seasonal Pressures.

“However most coughs, colds, viruses and fevers can be safely treated at home with over the counter medications, fluids and rest.

“It’s important to seek advice early – if you have been feeling unwell and you think you need an appointment to see a nurse or doctor, phone your normal healthcare provider today. Your local pharmacy can also advise on treatment for a range of minor illnesses and injuries.

“Our Urgent Care facilities, ED and AAU are under continued pressure and this will assist us to care for those who are very unwell over the weekend.”

“Please also remember to stock up on prescriptions if you need them before the weekend. Don't leave it until the last minute. Most repeat prescriptions can be organised by phoning your general practice team, and some enable repeat requests through their websites, neither of which will require an appointment with the doctor,” she says.

“For free health advice over the weekend, please phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night and they can advise you on what to do and where to go if you do need to be seen urgently. Parents and caregivers can call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 at any time to talk with a Plunket nurse if they have unwell infants or children.

For people who don't have a doctor and are new to Canterbury, it's important they register with a general practice team in order to have the best access to health services. If you aren’t already enrolled with a general practice team, you can find one here


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Page last updated: 17 November 2022

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