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

Immediate help for mental health issues

Immediate help

In an emergency

In an emergency, if you or someone else is at risk or harm, call 111. This number is free to call.

If you require urgent or crisis mental health care in Canterbury, Freephone 0800 920 092, (24 hours, 7 days a week).

For children and youth mental health emergencies; talk to Child, Adolescent, and Family Emergency (CAFEm):

Talk to a doctor

You can call your general practice team (the local medical centre you visit for non-urgent health issues) 24/7 and receive advice after-hours from a registered nurse. If you do not have a GP visit Finding a GP/doctor for more info on how to enroll.


Many helplines are available for immediate assistance. Call or text whenever you need help:

  • Call or text 1737 any time, day or night, to talk with a trained counsellor for free.
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354, or text HELP to 4357
  • Depression helpline – 0800 111 757 (available 24/7) or text 4202
  • Suicide Crisis – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7) – This service helps those thinking about suicide, or those concerned about family/whānau or friends.
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
  • For young people:

Page last updated: 17 August 2022

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