All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so we recommend all people wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

To keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks are recommended to be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people). Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their face mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

All of our Hospitals

Visiting hours for our hospitals have returned to pre COVID-19 hours with the exception of Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed, except for the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay where just one parent/caregiver is able to attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions by special arrangement only.

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

More COVID-19 information

Getting a flu jab is your best defence against influenza

Flu 2022

Getting a flu jab is your best defence against influenza and 100,000 Cantabrians have now received theirs. If you haven’t got yours, it’s important you get a flu vaccination as soon as you can. 

Influenza is increasing in the community and it can cause serious illness. There may also be higher rates of influenza in New Zealand this winter with our borders reopening. Getting immunised against influenza protects our vulnerable communities, especially young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus.

Currently flu vaccinations are free for:

  • pregnant women,
  • those 65 years and older,
  • Māori or Pasifika people 55 and over,
  • people with chronic medical conditions such as respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes – this includes children under 5 years of age
  • many workplaces also either hold vaccination clinics or give staff vouchers to get their flu vaccination.

The flu affects the whole body and can last up to a week or more.  As you get older your immune system isn’t as good at protecting you, even if you feel fit and healthy.

If you have a respiratory illness and test negative for COVID-19 on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), you could have influenza – please stay at home when you have respiratory symptoms even when it’s not COVID-19. This winter there is the very real possibility of having flu and COVID-19 within a short space of time.

If you've recently recovered from COVID-19, the flu, or any other illness, you can get your flu jab as soon as you're well. And if you are yet to have your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, you can get it at the same time. There is no need to leave a gap between these vaccinations.

To prevent the spread of influenza, it is important that people keep up all the good healthy habits we have learnt from COVID-19 including:

  • wearing masks,
  • opening windows and doors to increase ventilation where possible,
  • physical distancing,
  • practising good hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing or sanitising your hands and
  • staying home if you’re unwell.

It is also important to seek medical advice early if you are concerned about your health, even if you have been seen before. Other serious conditions can also look like the flu, including meningococcal disease.

Page last updated: 8 June 2022

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