ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

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

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, 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 where trusted whānau members provide 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 – again, 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 named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s 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 under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

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.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

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

More COVID-19 information

Visitors and family

Information for patients, patient friends and family, and other visitors to hospitals in Canterbury.

Unable to visit someone in hospital? We can help you stay connected.

Email your message/pictures to patientlink@cdhb.health.nz stating who it is from, who it is for and which hospital/ward they are in. Our volunteers will make sure your message gets to them.


Visitor restrictions (including people attending outpatient appointments)

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, 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 where trusted whānau members provide 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 – again, 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 named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s 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 under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

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.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

For more details about visiting specific hospitals while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, please see our COVID-19 page.

To find out about a patient in hospital, please call the hospitals patient enquiries number.

Ashburton Hospital: 03 307 8450

Burwood Hospital: 03 383 6836

Christchurch Hospital: 03 364 0600

Christchurch Women’s Hospital: 03 364 4309

Hillmorton Hospital: 03 337 7969

Kaikōura Health: 03 319 3500

The Princess Margaret Hospital: 03 337 7800

ALL other hospitals and health facilities

Unable to visit someone in hospital? We can help you stay connected.

Please email your message/pictures for a patient to patientlink@cdhb.health.nz stating the following:

  1. who it is from
  2. who it is for
  3. the hospital/ward the patient is in

Our volunteers will make sure your message gets to the patient you wish to contact.

Family may visit seriously ill patients at any time with the approval of the nurse in charge. If your friend or family member is very unwell, or English is not their first language, you may be able to stay with them.

However, we encourage visitors to keep to visiting hours (see the hospital page for details of visiting hours) whenever possible to give patients time to rest.

If family members are likely to be away from home, it is important to leave contact telephone numbers with ward staff.

It is not possible to have flowers in some hospital areas. If you are thinking of purchasing flowers please ask the hospital volunteers in the gift shop first.

Gift shops also sell flower vouchers, for flowers to be delivered when the patient goes home.

Christchurch Hospital

Flowers and potted plants are not allowed in the following wards and units:

  • Ward 10
  • Ward 11
  • Ward 14
  • Ward 17
  • Ward 18
  • Ward 20
  • Ward 24
  • Ward 25
  • Ward A3, Waipapa – General Surgery and Gastroenterology, Surgical Progressive Care Unit (SPCU)
  • Ward A4, Waipapa – Orthopaedics and Trauma Unit 
  • Ward B3, Waipapa – General Surgery and SARA
  • Ward B4, Waipapa – Orthopaedics 
  • Ward B8, Waipapa – Nephrology and Neurosurgery
  • AMAU (Acute Medical Assessment Unit)
  • BMTU (Bone Marrow Transplant Unit)
  • CHOC (Children’s Haematology and Oncology)
  • CICU (Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit)
  • DOSA (Day-of-Surgery Admission)
  • DSU (Day Surgery Unit)
  • ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
  • PHDU (Paediatric High Dependency Unit)
  • UU (Urology Unit)

Christchurch Women's Hospital and Maternity Units

Flowers and potted plants are not allowed in any wards in Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

This includes the Maternity Ward and Birthing Suite and all Community Maternity Units at Rangiora, SelwynAshburtonKaikouraDarfield.

Burwood Hospital

Flowers and potted plants are not allowed in the following wards and units:

  • Admitting Unit
  • PACU (Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit) (Recovery)
  • Progressive Care Unit
  • Check with ward staff Ward FG (Spinal Unit) and Ward CG (Brain Injury)

Staff flower deliveries

It is not possible to deliver flowers to staff during work. Staff must collect their flower delivery at the end of their shift on their way home.

Canterbury DHB policy does not generally allow dogs, pets or other animals, apart from service animals (e.g. guide dog, therapy animals), into our hospital facilities.

There may be exceptions in some rehabilitation areas and special circumstances by prior arrangement with ward staff.

If wishing to visit with animals

  • You must first discuss and agree the animal visit with staff
  • If a visit is possible, you are responsible for the animal at all times
  • No animal visits are possible during meal times
  • Animals are not allowed in public cafeterias and cafes
  • Dogs need to be on a lead at all times

These visitors need permission to access Canterbury DHB facilities.

  • Arrange your visit in advance with the person you need to speak to
  • On arrival at reception, complete the CDHB Sign-in Register or electronic sign-in and fill in a visitor label to wear
  • Follow Canterbury DHB rules and guidelines while on site

Media visiting Canterbury DHB hospitals can find information in the Media Guide page.

Page last updated: 19 July 2022

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