All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023


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.

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

Oxford Rural Community Hospital to reopen in June

Wednesday 18 May 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.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Canterbury DHB will reopen Oxford Rural Community Hospital in mid-June.

Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing, says that the Oxford facility will reopen first because there is limited capacity in other aged care settings in Oxford. The majority of the residents are from this facility and there is staff capacity in Oxford to provide care for the seven residents who wish to return.

In the districts that surround Waikari, Ellesmere and Darfield rural community hospitals, there are beds available in other local Aged Residential Care facilities, and until we have sufficient staff to ensure the safe and appropriate care of their residents, their reopening will unfortunately be further delayed.

We continue to see widespread and elevated COVID-19 infection rates among our staff and our Canterbury community, including in the areas affected by these temporary closures. Residents were relocated to other facilities because Canterbury DHB could not guarantee staffing levels that would enable these rural community hospitals and local aged care facilities to provide safe and appropriate care.

“The current circumstances require a discussion with our rural communities on how we might deliver an improved mix of services in these rural areas that makes the best possible use of our resources and allows some services to be provided closer to home,” says Becky.

Canterbury District Health Board is committed to investing in rural communities and wants to work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to develop a future service model based on modern, evidence-based practice.

A working group comprising clinical and operational staff, together with community representation will be convened to develop a proposal on a possible future model of care in these communities.

“We are aiming to share the proposal in four to six weeks’ time. We will then be looking for feedback, initially from staff. There also will be a process for listening to the views of the current residents and their families and later, the wider community,” says Becky.

“In the meantime, our focus will be on ensuring a smooth and welcoming return home for the seven residents coming back to the Oxford Community Hospital.”

See links below for more information on:



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 5 October 2022

Is this page useful?