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

When every vaccination matters

Thursday 25 August 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.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

When every vaccination matters

As case numbers and hospitalisations begin to decline, and the warmer months approach, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury has a timely reminder that COVID-19 doesn’t rely on cold conditions to spread.

“Being up to date with your vaccinations is as important now as ever, because we know that COVID-19 is going to become our new normal,” said Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, Becky Hickmott.

“Across the Waitaha Canterbury health system, there is a concerted effort underway by community health providers to increase vaccinations, specifically in areas of the community with lower rates.”

Local COVID-19 vaccination rates vary depending on eligibility. While primary vaccination rates are high, only three quarters of the community (76%) have maintained their protection through a booster, and only 10% of those eligible for a second booster have taken the opportunity. Tamariki vaccination rates vary between 26-40% across the region.

“Vaccination clinics are actually scaling up again to offer COVID-19 boosters, with additional pharmacies and general practices joining the vaccination programme each week,” said Becky Hickmott.

An equitable approach

“We are focusing our efforts to ensure that vaccinations are easily accessible by everyone. We work closely with Māori, Pasifika, migrant and disability health providers to support culturally appropriate and accessible vaccination services across the region,” Becky Hickmott said.

Some of the greatest successes of the local vaccination programme have been the mobile clinics. These targeted clinics reach small groups that might not otherwise have travelled to a vaccination centre, supporting communities to protect themselves and each other. 

“It’s about going that step further to ensure culturally appropriate accessibility to vaccinations. Taking a whanaungatanga approach, demonstrating manaakitanga, and taking teams of vaccinators to where the need is,” said Becky Hickmott.

“Recently, for instance, Ngāi Tūāhuriri teamed up with vaccinators to bring whānau and the wider community together at Tuahiwi Marae. Likewise, the Māui vaccination clinic at South City is renowned for its warm and welcoming whānau approach, while health workers across the system are ensuring that any patient who has not enrolled with a health provider is supported to do so. A recent nurse vaccinator clinic in Ashburton assisted several Pasifika people to enrol with the local general practice.”

The BookMyVaccine website has now enabled group bookings of up to 30 people, so whānau groups can attend together, with translation and accessible options available.

Many vaccination clinics also provide flu and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations as well, making it easy for people to ensure they are fully up to date.

“The reality is that although we’re doing more than 10,000 vaccinations a week, rates for tamariki and for second boosters are still too low in Canterbury. Despite the downward trend for new community cases in Aotearoa, there are still high levels of COVID-19 infection in the community. 

“It’s particularly important that you have the booster dose or doses to protect you against severe disease.

“Everyone aged 50 and over is now eligible for their second booster dose six months after their first booster. If you've had COVID-19 it is recommended you wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

“We will continue to focus on these vaccinations so that our community is prepared for the inevitable next wave of COVID-19, and to raise all vaccination rates for general community health,” Becky Hickmott said.

“People can find their nearest vaccination clinic online at or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.”



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 19 October 2022

Is this page useful?