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 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

Burwood Hospital

11 news items.

Media release

Voice-activated help for some Canterbury hospital patients

Tuesday 5 February 2019

From today some patients at Christchurch’s Burwood Hospital will be using smart speakers to assist with contacting a... read more about Voice-activated help for some Canterbury hospital patients»


Media release

Prime Minister officially opens Burwood Hospital

Friday 19 August 2016Quick Read

Prime Minister John Key has today unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official opening of Burwood Hospital's new... read more about Prime Minister officially opens Burwood Hospital»


Media release

Poroporoaki for Burwood Birthing Unit

Friday 1 July 2016Quick Read

A poroporoaki* has been held in acknowledgement of the closure of Burwood Birthing Unit, which officially shut its... read more about Poroporoaki for Burwood Birthing Unit»


Media release

The Princess Margaret Hospital here to stay for a little while yet

Wednesday 15 June 2016Quick Read

Moving some patients from The Princess Margaret Hospital to Burwood Hospital is underway without a hitch but it's left... read more about The Princess Margaret Hospital here to stay for a little while yet»


Media release

Move to new Burwood facilities kicks off

Friday 10 June 2016Quick Read

Canterbury DHB and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will start moving patients from The Princess Margaret Hospital... read more about Move to new Burwood facilities kicks off»


Media release

Burwood public open day: Sunday May 29, from 10am to 2pm

Tuesday 24 May 2016Quick Read

​After extensive consumer consultation, planning, designing and construction, the Burwood Hospital's new 230-bed... read more about Burwood public open day: Sunday May 29, from 10am to 2pm»


Media release

Work underway to get Burwood Birthing Unit open

Friday 8 April 2016Quick Read

Work is underway for the temporary reopening of Burwood Birthing Unit. Canterbury DHB closed the unit, after staff and... read more about Work underway to get Burwood Birthing Unit open»


Media release

Burwood Birthing Unit to temporarily reopen

Tuesday 5 April 2016Quick Read

Canterbury DHB will temporarily reopen the Burwood Birthing Unit. The announcement was made at a meeting this week with... read more about Burwood Birthing Unit to temporarily reopen»


Media release

Dates announced for the first services to move to the Burwood Hospital Campus

Monday 1 February 2016Quick Read

The first of Canterbury's new Christchurch-based hospital facilities will be open and in use in just over four months.... read more about Dates announced for the first services to move to the Burwood Hospital Campus»


Media release

It’s tool time at Burwood Hospital

Tuesday 3 November 2015Quick Read

Work on the new healthcare facilities at Burwood Hospital is reaching a peak, with up to 500 contractors now on site... read more about It’s tool time at Burwood Hospital»


Media release

Canterbury DHB on track to deliver more surgery

Sunday 10 May 2015Quick Read

New hospital facilities will give Canterbury DHB the capacity to perform an extra 6000 surgeries and procedures a year... read more about Canterbury DHB on track to deliver more surgery»


Showing 1-11 of 11 results, page 1 of 1.

Page last updated: 18 February 2019

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