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

Some Canterbury health services deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

Monday 14 March 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.
Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

As the number of active cases of Omicron continues to rise in our community, more Canterbury DHB staff are contracting COVID-19 and having to isolate. Some have COVID, some are household contacts and others need to stay home to look after whānau who have COVID-19. 

Canterbury’s COVID-19 Emergency Coordination Centre Controller, Dr Helen Skinner said as of today, Monday 14 March, we are only going ahead with urgent surgery, such as cancer care, and other acute surgery such as following an accident or major trauma, with only a small volume of planned (elective) surgery and procedures going ahead.

“Some outpatient appointments are also being postponed this week. Many have already been switched to virtual consults and are carried out over the phone or by video call, however we have to postpone more planned in-person appointments this week,” Dr Skinner said.

“Urgent outpatient clinics such as dialysis will continue as will urgent and non-deferrable surgery and medical procedures.

“We apologise in advance to those affected by these changes. Anyone whose surgery or outpatient appointment has to be deferred will be contacted by phone.  Over the past two weeks staff have gone all out to allow us to continue to provide as much planned care as possible, but with so many staff away we are unable to maintain our usual levels of surgery and outpatient appointments.

“If you haven’t been contacted by us, please assume your appointment or surgery is going ahead,” she said.

Dr Skinner said Canterbury DHB was utilising all available staff to cover gaps in rosters. “Clinical and non-clinical staff are needed throughout the system to cover a range of roles. We are also deploying staff to help out in a number of rest homes in Canterbury and on the West Coast to ensure some of our most vulnerable community members are well supported. 

“It is important to note that all emergency and non-deferrable surgery and procedures are still going ahead, and anyone needing urgent and emergency care should continue to call their GP team or Healthline 0800 611 116 for health advice or dial 111 if it’s an emergency. 

“Our hospitals and health centres have the highest level of infection, prevention and control measures in place and we encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need when they need it.

“Hapū māmā/pregnant people should contact their Lead Maternity Carer if they have concerns or suspect they are in labour.

“Once again, we apologise for the inconvenience and stress of having your surgery or appointment postponed at short notice, and hope people appreciate the need to prioritise all our available people resources to ensure safe care for everyone,” Dr Skinner said.


Note to editors – please help us promote this important reminder when you have an opportunity.

Reminder – don’t hesitate to seek advice if you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s health

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home you should call 111 if:

  • the person has severe trouble breathing or severe chest pain
  • Is confused or not thinking clearly
  • Feels faint or passes out (loses consciousness)

If you’re not sure what to do or how serious things are call the COVID-19 Healthline 0800 358 5453 – someone will take your call 24/7 and advise on whether you should call an ambulance or bring the person into hospital.


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Page last updated: 16 June 2022

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