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

COVID-19 tests

The principal testing method nationally is now a RAT (Rapid Antigen Test), which come in kits - usually five to a pack - designed to be used at home by people who either have symptoms, or are a household contact of someone with COVID-19. For this reason, our test sites are largely geared up for drive-through collection of RATs. RAT kits are free at DHB testing centres, General Practices and some pharmacies (see list below).

PCR tests can still be carried out by a trained health professional at our Orchard Road, Whānau Ora and Ashburton sites, but only for people who have been referred for that kind of test (by their GP for example) or people who are immunocompromised and therefore need the added reassurance of a PCR test, which is more accurate.

RATs Community Collection Sites (Pre-order required)

To help speed things up at all our RAT collection sites please remember to place your order for RATs before heading to a collection site – and have your order number at the ready.

Orders can be made via the online system at
or by free calling 0800 222 478 to request your RAT tests.

  • RATs are free for people with COVID-19 symptoms or who are a household contact or who been instructed to get tested by a healthcare professional
  • Critical workers who are household contacts
  • Border workers who are required to be tested under the Required Testing Order

Community Based Testing Centres and RAT Collection Centres in Christchurch and Canterbury.

Note that you may need to wait if it’s busy. Our staff are doing their very best to provide RATs to everyone who needs them as quickly as possible. They deserve respect and kindness while they do their work.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out at Christchurch Hospital.

Remember to report all your rat results

It’s important that you report every RAT result – negative and positive - on My Covid Record website: as this helps the Ministry of Health understand the size and trends of the outbreak.

If you need a hand or would prefer to record your result over the phone, you can call 0800 222 478. Parents and caregivers can report the results for tamariki/children via the 0800 numbers. You can ask questions about the process of recording your results by emailing

The Ministry of Health has produced a video which outlines the process.

Do you know your NHI number?
If heading to one of the testing centres, please take your NHI number with you, as it will help speed things up.

  • Your NHI or National Health Index number can be found on prescription receipts, a medicine bottle, hospital letters and your GP’s patient portal.
  • Your NHI will have 3 letters and 4 numbers eg. ABC1234
  • It’s not essential – but will save administration time if you have it with you.

Tip// A handy place to store your NHI number is in your phone contacts – useful for future reference.

Orchard Road Covid-19 Testing & RAT Collection Centre (near Airport)

174 Orchard Road, (Off Harewood Road), Christchurch.
Hours: 9am-4pm, 7 days a week until further notice.

Whānau Ora Covid-19 Testing & RAT Collection Centre (Wainoni),

Location: 250 Pages Road, Wainoni, Christchurch.
Hours: 9am – 3:30pm, 7 days a week. 

Ashburton COVID-19 Testing & RAT Collection

Location: The testing centre at Ashburton Hospital has closed and relocated to the former ACL Building, at 48 South Street, Ashburton - entry off Cass Street).
Hours: 10am-2pm, 7 days a week.

Rolleston Covid-19 RAT Collection Centre - Closing on Wednesday 24 August 2022

 Please note: The last day of operation for the Rolleston Covid-19 RAT Collection Centre at Selwyn Health Hub will be Wednesday 24th August. 
This is not a drive-through site, there is car parking available on site for people to walk up and collect their pre-ordered RATs. Car parking can be in high demand between 2.45-3.15pm due to school pick-ups.
Location: Northern end of the Selwyn Health Hub - Norman Kirk Drive, Rolleston.
Hours: 1pm-5pm Monday to Friday only. *These hours may be subject to change at short notice.

These pharmacies will be only be fulfilling orders so please remember to place your order for RATs before heading to a collection site – and have your order number ready when you arrive.

Further instructions and service hours for each pharmacy's RATs collection service are listed on their pharmacy page on Healthpoint, links to these pages are below.

Pharmacy/Medical CentreSuburb/TownAddress
Addington PharmacyAddington348 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch
Akaroa PharmacyAkaroa55 Beach Road, Akaroa
Allenton PharmacyAshburton67 Harrison Street, Allenton, Ashburton, Canterbury
Amberley PharmacyAmberley127A Carters Road, Amberley
Bastins Pharmacy St Albans219 Innes Road, Saint Albans, Christchurch
Beckford Health PharmacySt Martins14 Beckford Road, Saint Martins, Christchurch
Burwood PharmacyBurwood11 Parnwell Street, Burwood, Christchurch
Cheviot Community Health CentreCheviot6 Robinson Street, Cheviot
Cranford PharmacySt Albans115 Sherborne Street, St Albans, Christchurch
Darfield PharmacyDarfield58 South Terrace, Darfield
Ewart Douglas PharmacyBryndwr403 Ilam Road, Bryndwr, Christchurch
Hammersley PharmacyEdgeware202 Hills Road, Edgeware, Christchurch
HealthWorks Pharmacy - Hanmer SpringsHanmer Springs7/24 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
Hei Hei PharmacyHei Hei34 Wycola Avenue, Hei Hei, Christchurch
Hillmorton PharmacyHoon Hay9 Halswell Road, Hoon Hay, Christchurch
Hoon Hay Pharmacy LtdHoon Hay120 Sparks Road, Hoon Hay, Christchurch
Ilam PharmacyIlam209 Waimairi Rd, Ilam, Christchurch
Kaiapoi Crossing PharmacyKaiapoi7/77 Hilton Street, Kaiapoi
Kaiapoi North PharmacyKaiapoi40 Charles Street, Kaiapoi
Kaikōura Health (Te Hā o Te Ora)Kaikōura25 Deal Street, Kaikōura
Kaikōura Pharmacy Kaikōura37 West End, Kaikōura
Kendal PharmacyBurnside64 Kendal Avenue, Burnside, Christchurch
Kiwi Pharmacy - HighstedCasebrook2/118A Claridges Road, Casebrook, Christchurch
Kiwi Pharmacy - YaldhurstYaldhurst3 Filly Place, Yaldhurst, Christchurch
Leeston PharmacyLeeston76 High Street, Leeston
Life Pharmacy BarringtonSpreydonShop 54, Barrington Shopping Centre, 256 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Life Pharmacy HornbyHornbyShop 104, 418 Main South Road, Hornby, Christchurch
Life Pharmacy Merivale (Please use Papanui Rd entrance)Merivale193 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch
Lincoln PharmacyLincoln8 Gerald Street, Lincoln
Linwood Village PharmacyChristchurch Central2/384 Worcester Street, Christchurch
Marshlands Family PharmacyMarshland427 Marshland Road, Marshland, Christchurch
Methven PharmacyMethven101 Main Street, Methven
Oxford PharmacyOxford49B Main Street, Oxford
Papanui PharmacyStrowan438 Papanui Road, Strowan, Christchurch
Pegasus PharmacyPegasus52 Pegasus Main Street, Pegasus
Pharmacy XtraChristchurch CentralCorner Madras St & Moorhouse Ave, 3/347 Moorhouse Avenue, Christchurch Central
Prebbleton PharmacyPrebbleton 3/563 Springs Road, Prebbleton
QEII PharmacyNorth New Brighton1/251 Travis Road, North New Brighton, Christchurch
Rakaia Health Post and PhotoRakaia68 Elizabeth Avenue, Rakaia
Redcliffs PharmacyRedcliffs87 Main Road, Redcliffs, Christchurch
Remedy Pharmacy - RiccartonRiccarton107 Wainui Street, Riccarton, Christchurch
Remedy Pharmacy St Albans (formerly McIntosh Pharmacy)St Albans250 Springfield Road, St Albans. Christchurch
Selwyn Community PharmacyLincoln5B Gerald Street, Lincoln
Selwyn Village PharmacySpreydon316 Selwyn Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Shields PharmacyPapanui95 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch
Shirley DispensaryShirley13 Marshland Road, Shirley, Christchurch
Silverstream Kaiapoi PharmacyKaiapoi10/42 Silverstream Boulevard, Kaiapoi
St Albans PharmacySt Albans1073 Colombo Street, Saint Albans, Christchurch
St Martins PharmacySt MartinsShop 2, 92 Wilsons Road, Saint Martins, Christchurch
Stans 7 Day Pharmacy (Rangiora)Rangiora15 Ashley Street, Rangiora
Tancred Street DispensaryAshburton135 Tancred Street, Ashburton
The Pharmacy @ PhillipstownWaltham270 Ferry Road, Waltham, Christchurch
Unichem Belfast PharmacyBelfast8/812 Main North Road, Belfast, Christchurch
Unichem Cashel PharmacyChristchurch Central111 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central
Unichem Elmwood Pharmacy Strowan3 Normans Road, Strowan, Christchurch
Unichem Ilam Healthworks PharmacyIlam110 Memorial Avenue, Ilam, Christchurch
Unichem Lincoln Road PharmacySpreydon30D Lincoln Road, Spreydon, Christchurch
Unichem Medical Corner PharmacyRangiora237A High Street Rangiora
Unichem Parklands Medical PharmacyParklands345 Mairehau Road, Parklands, Christchurch
Unichem Rolleston Village PharmacyRolleston8/92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston
Unichem Wigram PharmacyWigramThe Landing, 102 The Runway, Wigram, Christchurch
Union Street Pharmacy, New BrightonNew Brighton18 Union Street, New Brighton, Christchurch
University PharmacyIlamJames Hight Building, University Drive, Ilam, Christchurch
Waikari Health CentreWaikari100 Princes Street, Waikari
Wilson's Barrington PharmacySpreydon256 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Woodham Road PharmacyLinwood1/23 Woodham Road, Linwood, Christchurch

Please refer to the Healthpoint website for details about general practices offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

If you require a test before travel overseas you need to contact your General Practice or an Urgent care facility to book an appointment for this. You need to book the test within the timeframe required by the country you are travelling to (usually 3-5 days before travel) and with enough time for the result to come back (usually 48 hours). You will be charged for this test. Costs may vary.

Community Based Testing Centres are not able to perform COVID-19 travel tests because they are unable to take payment onsite.

More information about COVID-19 testing is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website  

Page last updated: 17 August 2022

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