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

Save the Emergency Department for Emergencies

Monday 12 September 2022Media release2 minutes to read

Save the Emergency Department for Emergencies

People in Canterbury are being reminded to save ED for emergencies, due to large numbers of people presenting with non-urgent conditions at Canterbury’s Urgent Care facilities and the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Chief Medical Officer, Dr Richard French, says the additional demand is resulting in people seeking non-urgent care having to wait. 

“If you’re not sure how urgent your condition is, please call Healthline for free health advice any time of day or night by calling 0800 611 116. 

“Many colds and fevers are viral and can be treated at home. Our Stay Well This Winter booklet has been delivered to all Canterbury households and there’s also a wide range of information on self-care available on our website and on Healthinfo Waitaha.

“You can also see your local pharmacist for advice on medication and minor health concerns.

“Moorhouse Medical also has reduced hours for their Urgent Care facility again this week and will close this facility at 4pm during the week and 2pm at the weekend for the rest of September. The Riccarton Clinic or the 24-Hour Surgery are open their normal hours although also reporting high volumes of waiting patients. If it’s an emergency, please call 111.

“Please remember if you are really unwell, we want to see you. I apologise to those who are having to wait and understand that this can be particularly distressing when unwell.” says Dr Richard French.

There is no single condition causing the issue, it is a range of illnesses affecting the community.

“There is one really important action people in Canterbury can do to protect themselves and others: ensure all of their vaccinations are up to date including their second COVID-19 booster if eligible,” says Dr Richard French. 



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Page last updated: 12 September 2022

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