Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See for info about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We 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.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens Hospital. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments, no children are allowed to visit.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Vaccination programme re-prioritisation implemented in Canterbury

Monday 14 March 2022Canterbury DHB News2 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

Vaccination programme re-prioritisation implemented in Canterbury

The impact of Omicron has led to re-prioritisation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme according to Canterbury DHB’s Emergency Coordination Centre Incident Controller, Dr Helen Skinner.

“We need to maximise limited staffing resources and focus our resource on reaching priority areas and at-risk populations where booster uptake and children immunisation is lagging behind,” says Dr Skinner.

“Planning for mobile or outreach vaccination events over the next three to four weeks has started.  

“We will also continue to work closely with our primary care, Pasifika and Māori providers to support their resourcing needs so they can continue to deliver vaccinations.”

As a result two DHB-run vaccination sites will close: Christchurch Arena Drive-Through from tomorrow, 15 March, and Orchard Road Vaccination Centre which will likely close in three weeks.

“The few people booked at the drive through have been rebooked. For Orchard Road, over the next few weeks we will only be vaccinating those already booked or supporting them to re-book at other vaccination sites,” says Dr Skinner.

She says it is expected that the closing of the Orchard Road Vaccination Centre and the Christchurch Arena Drive-Through will have minimal impact on the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations as there will still be more than 140 primary care clinics continuing to deliver vaccinations across Canterbury. 

“We are also looking at establishing a smaller drive through vaccination site and our mobile vaccination events will consider outdoor locations as a priority to ensure we have good ventilation, especially in the current environment where Omicron is widespread.”

The existing RAT collection site at the Christchurch Arena will continue to operate.



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Page last updated: 29 March 2022

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