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

Multiple winter illnesses placing pressure on health system; more than 155,000 COVID-19 cases recorded in Canterbury

Tuesday 7 June 2022Media release3 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.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Canterbury has now recorded more than 155,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with almost 1000 new cases recorded today. Multiple winter illnesses continue to place pressure our health system.

Vaccination and healthy habits are the best protection against the viruses circulating this winter. We’ve all learnt some great habits over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as vaccination, wearing masks, physical distancing, and increasing ventilation when indoors. These measures will help protect us as we face influenza and other viral diseases.

“I am incredibly pleased to hear that 123,000 Cantabrians have already had their flu jab. But I am worried for our Pacific and Asian communities where uptake has been low. Please encourage your whānau and friends to get their flu jab as soon as possible, especially if they are eligible to get one for free,” says Becky Hickmott, Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, COVID-19.

“With the borders now open, there is a very real possibility you may get COVID-19 and influenza within a short time period. Measles may also start circulating. By having all your vaccinations and staying well this winter, you’ll help keep health services free for those who need urgent care.

“Māmā and pāpās, we need to get our tamariki immunised. Now is a great time to get your 5-11 year olds vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are eligible and we also need to make sure that all our pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi have had both of their MMR immunisations to protect against measles.

“You can get all of these vaccinations (COVID-19, influenza and MMR) at the same time if you need them.”

Make sure you’re winter-ready, so that you and your whānau stay healthy and well all season. This includes making sure you get any prescriptions for medication you need in advance. Please stay at home if you are unwell with a cold or any other illness. 

“Our COVID-19 case numbers remain very high in Canterbury. This is impacting our primary care providers as they continue to manage high numbers of sick patients, while also grappling with staff illness,” says Becky Hickmott.

“At the DHB we still have on average 200 staff off every day with COVID-19 and we have 56 COVID-19 patients in hospital today.”

“Most people can manage cold, flu and COVID-19 illness at home, which keeps the health services for the very unwell.  Make your GP or normal healthcare provider your first port of call, but if after hours care is needed visit one of the Urgent Care centres in Canterbury.  

“Remember that you can also phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7. If you’re caring for someone at home with flu, there are some useful practical tips here on danger signs to watch out for, especially when caring for babies and young children/tamariki.

“I would like to emphasise that if you are very unwell, we do want to see you at the Emergency Department. We want to reassure our community that you will receive the emergency and acute care you need this winter.”



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Page last updated: 27 February 2024

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