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

Healthcare information for the Easter weekend

Thursday 14 April 2022Canterbury DHB News3 minutes to read

Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

Healthcare information for the Easter weekend

Dr Helen Skinner, ECC Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB, is urging people to continue to test themselves for COVID-19 over the weekend if they have symptoms.

“Our case numbers often drop at the weekend and pop back up on Tuesdays. Our COVID-19 community testing centres are open over the long weekend and it is really important that people with any cold and flu-like symptoms, and household contacts, take a COVID-19 test and isolate as they are required to if it is positive,” says Dr Skinner.

“Logging your test result on the My Covid Record website or by calling 0800 222 478 means that you will be provided with the support you need while isolating.”

Over the long weekend, the opening hours for our COVID-19 community testing centres are:

  • Orchard Road COVID-19 Testing Centre, 174 Orchard Road, Harewood, Christchurch (near Airport), is open 9am – 4pm daily. 
  • Whānau Ora Covid-19 Testing Centre, 250 Pages Road, Wainoni, Christchurch, is open 9am – 3.30pm daily.
  • Ashburton COVID-19 Testing Centre, 48 South Street, Ashburton (entrance off Cass Street), is open 10am – 2pm daily.

Check  for RAT collection sites’ opening hours over the Easter weekend. Please remember to order your RAT kits in advance through the website

If you need to get your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, there are also a number of vaccination clinics open

“Boosters help to protect you and others from severe illness or hospitalisation. There are still a lot of Cantabrians who are eligible for their booster who haven’t had it, so make the time this weekend to get it done,” says Dr Skinner.

“People can still get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve previously tested positive, providing they wait three months before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.”

“Those of us who can get vaccinated should do it now. Vaccination is your best protection against Omicron.”

If you are heading away, make sure you pack enough of your regular medications for the duration of your holiday. If you’re going to need a repeat prescription while away, get it sorted before you leave town.

Make sure you are aware of the risk that the spread of COVID-19 might affect your holiday plans and be prepared should this happen.

If you get ill over the long weekend, you can call your own general practice team 24/7 for care around the clock.

Emergency Departments (ED) at hospitals throughout New Zealand often run at capacity over the holiday weekend. Making your regular general practice team your first port of call, wherever you are, will help keep EDs free for those who need emergency care.

“If your symptoms are getting worse, please seek medical care before you get too sick, whether that is from your normal healthcare provider or from our healthcare facilities if you are really unwell,” says Dr Skinner.

“Treatment and health advice for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 is free.

“Acute and emergency care will always be available. Our hospitals have the highest level of infection prevention and control measures in place and we encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need when they need it.”

After-hours information, as well as a list of pharmacies and clinics open during the Easter holiday period can be found on Healthpoint at



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Page last updated: 14 April 2022

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