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 www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.
We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework
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:
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
Visiting patients with COVID-19
You must NOT visit the hospital if you
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
New Zealand has a world-leading health system which makes most services available free (or subsidised) to people who meet requirements.
Some people in New Zealand don’t qualify to have these services paid for by the New Zealand Government and will have to pay for their own healthcare.
Find out more about paying for healthcare at a hospital in Canterbury.
Find out if you qualify for free healthcare in New Zealand on the Ministry of Health website
Page last updated: 3 March 2021
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