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 and other maternity units. 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

Keeping well

  • Ask questions
  • Discuss your options with your health care team and learn the pros and cons
  • Agree to the treatment you want (give informed consent)
  • Bring a support person to ask questions for you and help you understand your choices

Welcome to our Smokefree District Health Board

You can’t smoke or vape on any of our hospital grounds, but we can help you take the opportunity to be smokefree. Staying smokefree when you leave hospital is one of the best things you can do for your health.

  • Experienced health staff are here to help you and your family stop smoking
  • Ask a doctor or nurse for a free Quit Pack for you or your family
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available, including patches, lozenges and gum which supply nicotine to your body and reduce cravings, irritability and restlessness
  • If you don’t want to stop smoking, we can help you manage your nicotine needs while you are in hospital
  • Visit or for free support

Falling hurts, and it often causes injuries. Injuries from falls can make people stay in hospital longer or need to move to aged residential care.

Find out how to protect yourself or a loved one from falling with the following resources:


Restorative care means helping you live independently and participate in your community for longer. Focus on staying healthy instead of thinking about your health when you get sick.

It also includes helping you recover quickly from injury or illness and be involved with decisions about your care.

Read this restorative care brochure to learn what you can do in hospital and at home to stay independent and see our Keeping healthy & well pages for tips to improve your quality of life.

Note: If you are using an older browser and cannot see the video above, it can be viewed on instead.

Keep safe from infections while you are in hospital

If you are ill, injured, have a wound drain or other tube or device in your body, you have more risk of developing an infection. Infections can increase the time it takes you to recover and lead to a longer stay in hospital or worse.

Here are some simple things you can do to help prevent spreading infections:

  • Please wash and clean your hands thoroughly and regularly
    • Clean your hands with the alcohol hand rub or wash your hands with soap and water every time you enter and leave a ward or clinic.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after visiting the toilet.
    • Alcohol-based hand rubs are freely available around the ward, they are very effective at killing germs.
    • You may wish to thank staff for cleaning their hands before and after touching you and don’t be afraid to give a gentle reminder if needed.

For more information about hand hygiene and how to clean your hands, visit the HealthInfo website .

  • Bring your own toiletries – please do not borrow or share from other patients.
  • Prevent an infection after surgery - read the patient information leaflet Preventing infection after surgery to find out more.

We take infection prevention very seriously.

It's ok to ask. If you have any worries or concerns about infection in hospital, speak to the nurse looking after you or the nurse in charge who can help you. You can also contact a member of the Infection Prevention & Control Team for further advice.

Page last updated: 22 February 2021

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