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 your flu shot early is more important than ever this year

Flu 2022

During and following this COVID-19 Omicron outbreak, influenza vaccination is more important than ever. As our borders re-open after two years, flu immunity levels are likely to be low. Respiratory viruses such as flu will be more common and their effects more severe this winter.

Immunisation is the best way to protect our communities from infection and serious illness.

Flu vaccinations are available now through most GPs and many pharmacies – we recommend you call your general practice first to check availability and to make an appointment.
If you can’t commit to a specific time, you can pop into a community pharmacy and ask if they are doing flu vaccinations. If you think you are eligible to have yours free, check with the pharmacy first as they cannot do people who are eligible due to a health condition.

This year the Influenza Immunisation Programme 2022 aims to reach hapū māmā, Māori, Pacific, and Asian people, who in the past have been less likely to receive an influenza vaccination. This is we are taking a whānau-centred approach this year, and the eligibility age for a free vaccination has also been reduced to 55 years old for Māori and Pacific peoples.

Who is eligible for funded influenza vaccination this year?

Free influenza vaccinations are available for those who meet these eligibility criteria:

  • pregnant people
  • people aged 65 years and older
  • Māori and Pacific peoples aged 55 to 64 years
  • people aged 6 months to under 65 years with eligible conditions
  • tamariki aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness (including measles) or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

If you aren’t eligible for a free vaccination, it’s still really important that you get vaccinated. The cost is typically $35-60, but this investment could help you avoid a miserable time with flu, prevent sickness working its way through your family, and possibly having to take unpaid time off work.

You can get more information about the vaccine on the following webpages: 

Health professionals can find information here:

Page last updated: 19 July 2022

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