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

Canterbury health system

21 news items.


Te Mana Ora Newsletter – December 2018

Friday 14 December 2018Quick Read

This newsletter is produced by Community and Public Health as a vehicle for promoting positive korero on hauora Māori... read more about Te Mana Ora Newsletter – December 2018»


Media release

Completing the Census is vital

Wednesday 28 February 2018Quick Read

Completing the Census is vital to help us plan and fund your health services Completing your Census form and being... read more about Completing the Census is vital»


Media release

Canterbury health system working hard to keep Cantabs well

Tuesday 23 May 2017

The Canterbury DHB's performance in Quarter 3 of the 2016/2017 National Health Targets show the DHB continues to strive... read more about Canterbury health system working hard to keep Cantabs well»


Media release

Canterbury Health System clocks up one million electronic referrals

Monday 20 February 2017Quick Read

Electronic referrals by Canterbury clinicians through the South Island's Electronic Request Management System (ERMS)... read more about Canterbury Health System clocks up one million electronic referrals»


Media release

Financial review on Canterbury DHB informs future direction

Thursday 22 December 2016

Statement from the Chair of Canterbury District Health Board, Murray Cleverley The Minister of Health has today... read more about Financial review on Canterbury DHB informs future direction»


Media release

Strong commitment to new target focused on healthy kids

Tuesday 22 November 2016Quick Read

The Canterbury Health System is committed to the Government's newest health target ‘Raising Healthy Kids', which... read more about Strong commitment to new target focused on healthy kids»


Media release

Falls prevention efforts reducing harm in our health system

Thursday 10 November 2016Quick Read

Falls prevention efforts are being praised for a 25 percent reduction in the number of Serious and Adverse Events... read more about Falls prevention efforts reducing harm in our health system»


Media release

Celebrating health excellence

Thursday 3 November 2016

The Canterbury Health System has celebrated an outstanding calibre of entries to the Quality Improvement and Innovation... read more about Celebrating health excellence»


Media release

The Canterbury Health System makes a flying start to Patient Safety Week

Wednesday 2 November 2016Quick Read

This week is New Zealand's national “Let's Talk” Patient Safety Week, coordinated by the Health Quality &... read more about The Canterbury Health System makes a flying start to Patient Safety Week»


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

Join the young Cantabs helping make the Canterbury Health System better

Friday 3 June 2016Quick Read

A group of young Cantabrians want more people to help them make the Canterbury Health System better for others their... read more about Join the young Cantabs helping make the Canterbury Health System better»


Media release

New Chief Medical Officer announced

Wednesday 1 June 2016Quick Read

Dr Sue Nightingale is well known to many in the Canterbury Health System and it's her established credentials and... read more about New Chief Medical Officer announced»


Media release

Open reporting key to improving our health system

Friday 4 December 2015Quick Read

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) remains committed to transparent and open reporting of Serious Adverse Events,... read more about Open reporting key to improving our health system»


Media release

Integration drives Canterbury Health System’s performance

Tuesday 26 May 2015Quick Read

Integration efforts across the Canterbury Health System remain pivotal to Canterbury District Health Board's... read more about Integration drives Canterbury Health System’s performance»


Showing 1-21 of 21 results, page 1 of 1.

Page last updated: 19 August 2021

Is this page useful?