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

Parents and caregivers urged to watch out for choking hazards

Friday 3 April 2020Media release2 minutes to read

Unite against COVID-19

Parents and caregivers urged to watch out for choking hazards

Canterbury parents and caregivers are being asked to keep a close eye on children in their care while we remain at COVID-19 alert level four, to reduce the risk of our tamariki choking if an object becomes lodged in their airway.

With families adjusting to life at home under alert level 4, there is potentially a greater risk of bored or inquisitive children putting something in their mouth that gets stuck or accidentally inhaled, which may require emergency medical attention.

Canterbury DHB Paediatric Surgeon Professor Spencer Beasley says parents and caregivers need to keep an even more careful eye on children now, especially with some families now juggling working and caring for their young children at home.

“Parents and caregivers need to be particularly cautious about children being offered peanuts, especially in the under-six age group where whole peanuts should never be given as they can block the windpipe so the child cannot breathe.

“Other objects that should be kept away from children include the small sticker labels on fruit, tiny magnets, button batteries and small Lego pieces. In the past few weeks alone, we have had two such cases in Christchurch,says Professor Beasley.  

As well as protecting children from choking hazards, avoiding a trip to hospital at this time means they get to stay in their home bubble where they are safest.  

Of all the procedures and surgical operations that hospitals undertake, removing foreign bodies from airways is the one of the most dangerous, and carries a high risk for staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not just the child who is at risk – if the child brought COVID-19 with them into the hospital environment, it could put an entire surgical team at risk as well.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure our frontline healthcare staff are kept safe,” adds Professor Beasley.



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 3 April 2020

Is this page useful?