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

Information for visitors and patients

Wednesday 18 August 2021Media release5 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.
Information for visitors and patients at COVID-19 alert level 4

Information for visitors and patients at COVID-19 alert level 4

Canterbury DHB will reinstate its no-visitor policy across all facilities from 11:59 tonight (Tuesday 17 August 2021) in line with the Government’s Alert Level 4 lockdown announcement. There are some exceptions which are outlined below.

Unless you have been contacted by phone to advise that your planned (elective) surgery is going ahead tomorrow, please assume it has been postponed and do not turn up at hospital.

Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times at Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must also be used.

Please scan in using the QR code, wherever you go using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App, and ensure Bluetooth is turned on within the app – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.

Changes to key services are as follows:

Outpatients and planned surgery

Most planned elective surgery will be postponed and rescheduled. If you haven’t heard from the DHB you can safely assume your surgery or outpatient clinic has been postponed. We will only be contacting people whose urgent surgery is going ahead.

Renal Patients

Renal patients need to still attend their dialysis appointments. Please turn up as you normally would to your dialysis appointment and wear a face covering or mask.

Cancer patients

Those patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy will continue to do so as planned. Please come to your scheduled appointments and wear a face covering or mask.

Nursing strike notice withdrawn

The DHB has tonight received official confirmation from the NZNO that they have withdrawn the strike notice pertaining to strike action planned for this Thursday 19 August. The withdrawal is in light of the Level 4 lockdown.


A no-visitor policy across all our facilities is now in place – the only exceptions are listed below:

  • Compassionate grounds – please check with the Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • Women in labour are allowed one support person.
  • One parent/caregiver is welcome to be with their child in hospital. 
  • People with disabilities can have one support person.

Emergency Department

Remains open but no support people or visitors will be allowed unless they have permission from the Clinical Nurse Manager (CNM). One parent or caregiver per child can accompany their child and a person with disabilities can have one support person.

Maternity patients

Women in labour should follow their care plan as described by their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) The DHB’s maternity facilities will remain open but closed to visitors apart from one support person with a labouring woman.

Shuttle bus from Deans Avenue car park to Christchurch Hospital

The shuttle will be operating for staff only – and unavailable for visitors or patients.

Urgent (life-threatening) Acute surgery

Urgent/acute surgery as a result of illness or injury will go ahead.

COVID vaccine appointments

There has been a 48 hour pause on vaccine appointments nationwide. If you have an appointment within the next 48 hours do not turn up to your appointment. This will be rescheduled. More details to come.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels will continue to be distributed, however there may be some delays due to driver availability. Meal delivery will be ‘contactless’ with drivers wearing PPE and following strict hand hygiene protocols.

GP Appointments

If you have an appointment over the next three days please call your General Practice team for advice on whether your consultation can be done over the phone, by video or in person.  All General Practices are open.


Community Pharmacies are essential health services and will be open for prescriptions and over the counter medications. Please do not visit if you are sick. Always wear a mask and practice physical distancing – stay at least two metres away from people you don’t know.


All radiology appointments at Canterbury DHB facilities – other than those needing acute care have been postponed and will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Christchurch Hospital

Most entrances to Christchurch Hospital will be closed and the only entrances open will be ED & Waipapa Main Entrance, Christchurch Women’s Entrance and the main Christchurch Hospital entrance (under the canopies) – Everyone will have to scan or sign in when they enter the hospital and wear a mask or face covering.

Rural facilities and CDHB-operated ARC facilities

No visitors – only on compassionate grounds by arrangement.

Community Blood testing

As an essential service, most Canterbury SCL collection centres will remain open during Alert Level 4.

If your test is not urgent or you are awaiting a Covid-19 test result, please stay at home.

You must wear a mask and practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene at all times in SCL collection centres.

Wait times will change due to the need for physical distancing – we appreciate your patience.

 Visit for a list of collection centres that are open

Please follow the rules as this will help us all return to normal more quickly.

More information about Alert Level 4 is available from



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Page last updated: 9 September 2021

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