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.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is 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 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 ready – Being prepared – Disability Supplement

Does your household include a disabled person or someone with a long term health condition? 

Te toia, te haumatia – Nothing can be achieved without a plan and a way of doing things

The Ministry of Health has prepared advice and a checklist to assist households to plan for Covid-19 in the community.

Te Whatu Ora has developed additional advice, based on lived experience of disabled people.  We encourage you to

  • record relevant information in one place
  • stock up on necessary supplies
  • make those connections with people who can support you, and you can support
  • make contact with care agencies, especially those who come to your home, and have their emergency contact details.

If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate for at least 7 days while they recover. Day 0 is the day symptoms started or when that person tested positive, whichever came first. Household Contacts do not need to isolate. They should test daily for 5 days. You will receive a package of supplies, instructions, and a health diary.

You need to be ready to provide a lot of information when asked by your GP, so you can continue to receive the essential care and supports you usually receive at home. It will also enable them to monitor you and provide COVID-19 related care if needed.  

We recommend that you start with the standard advice from Be prepared for COVID-19, and stay safe.  Then add any other information which applies to your household, as described below:

Collect in one easily accessible place, information on:

Who is in your household? For each member record their

  1. Name
  2. NHI number
  3. Address
  4. Email address/s
  5. Age
  6. Date of Birth
  7. Phone number/s
  8. Medical conditions and disabilities
  9. Allergies
  10. Medicines
  11. Communication needs eg language/NZSL/relay/large print information/please text
  12. Employer/workplace/school contact details
  13. Next of kin/guardian/emergency contact details

Now write down the usual care and support arrangements for each member of your household, including contact and other details (for support purposes)

  1. Name of GP and other Doctors
  2. Chemist/pharmacy
  3. Medical supply/consumables provider/s, how, what and when this is supplied
  4. Care and support agencies and what services they provide to your household
  5. Who funds this care and support? Ministry of Health Disability Support Services (DSS)? Health NZ? IF? ACC? Other?
  6. Upcoming medical and other appointments – who will check if these are going ahead, postponed or modified e.g. via phone
  7. Care and support workers who come to your home (either employed by an agency or under Individualised Funding (IF)
  8. Cultural and/or church affiliations
  9. Mental health clinical care and support
  10. Mobility and other equipment suppliers
  11. Meals on Wheels
  12. Lifelinks contact

What if a disabled person needs to go to hospital?

Be prepared to give ambulance or medical staff the information they need to know immediately what will help keep the disabled person safe, move them safely, and enable medical staff to communicate with them effectively.

Make a list now, or pack a ‘going to hospital supplies’ kit. Will you need to bring hearing aids, glasses, a wheelchair, mobility aid, or a communication device?

Make a list of contact details for everyone who would need to know the person is going/has gone to hospital.

Identify any questions you need to ask if someone is admitted to hospital, for example

  • How will communication needs be met?
  • Will there be an alternating air mattress (to prevent pressure injuries developing in someone with limited mobility)?
  • What are the visiting/support rules for your situation? Restricted visiting is likely to be in place to help prevent COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable patients.
  • Will the person’s usual clinicians be involved in their care?

Write down household instructions like caring for pets, plants and paying bills for someone else to follow.

What if a household member needs to go to hospital?

Make sure to explain the care arrangements in your household when asked - that is, who cares for whom. If a disabled person relies on someone who can no longer care for them, make this concern known.

General advice

  • Have an extra copy of any service plans to provide on request, and be ready to send via email.
  • Check and replenish usual medications and medical supplies – have extras, especially prescription medications that you might not be able to obtain easily if you run out.
  • Check and replenish PPE. This is available from care and support agencies, who obtain it from the Ministry of Health.
  • Find out about pulse oximeters and Rapid Antigen Testing. If needed, you will be given these, along with instructions on how to use. There is a good pulse oximeter video at
  • Take the initiative: Ask questions and express concerns – to your GP, your home care agency or anyone else who supports you.
  • Speak up if existing or promised services are not provided as needed.

Page last updated: 5 December 2022

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