Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See for info about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, 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

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments, no children are allowed to visit.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

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.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

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

More COVID-19 information

Winter wellbeing

Stay well this winter

Winter 2022 is a challenging one. The usual cold weather is here, but on top of this, winter illnesses are having a real impact across Canterbury.

After a couple of years of closed borders, flu and other infectious illnesses are back, as well as infections we haven’t seen for some time, such as measles and whooping cough.

Alongside new COVID-19 variants, this is a recipe for a difficult winter here in Waitaha.

Be prepared

Winter illnesses don’t have to stop you doing the things you love. Keeping yourself well this winter is all about being prepared.

Vaccination is the best defence against many preventable illnesses. It’s essential that we are all up to date with our protection for flu, COVID-19 and other illnesses like measles. You can find out if you are up to date by talking to your GP or health provider.

Family wearing warm clothes outside in winter

Where can I get vaccinated?

It’s not too late to get your COVID-19 vaccination or booster. There are walk-in vaccination clinics around Canterbury, and look out for vaccination events happening near you this winter too. At many of these, you can also get a flu or MMR (measles) immunisation as well as your COVID vaccination.

Being fully vaccinated for COVID, including having a booster, helps protect you against reinfection and passing the virus on. Get your first, second or booster dose now if it is due. Find out if your booster is now due.

Flu can be a very serious disease for people whose immunity is already weakened by other conditions. Getting your flu vaccination helps to protect the ones you love.

Find out if you are eligible to get a free flu vaccine this year.

The flu vaccination is available from:

Your winter-ready checklist

Protect the ones you love by making sure you’re winter-ready

COVID-19 has taught us a lot about how effective simple hygiene can be at protecting us from all airborne viruses, such as the flu.

Here’s some practical tips to keep healthy this winter:

  1. Eat well and stay active. These play an important part in our overall health and wellbeing, including our ability to fight off illness. Getting a good night’s sleep also helps.
  2. Get your Winter Wellness kit together. This might include painkillers, a thermometer, tissues, cold and flu medications, enough food and household items for a few days, and a good stock of the regular medicines you or your whānau will need.
  3. Make sure you and your whānau are up to date with all available vaccinations against infectious diseases like influenza, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), chicken pox, whooping cough, pneumococcal diseases and COVID-19.
  4. Wear a mask when you're out in public
  5. Maintain good hand hygiene by washing and drying your hands thoroughly or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  6. If your symptoms worsen or you are concerned about the health of someone you care for, call Healthline on 0800 611 116, for free health advice 24/7, or your doctor.

Caring for family during winter

When to seek help

When should you take some paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids and just get some rest – and when should you seek more specialist care?

You can go to our I'm not well, where do I go page for helpful advice when you’re feeling unwell.

Your local pharmacist is an expert in winter illnesses. Pop down to your local pharmacy – or have someone do it for you if you’re unwell. They can provide free advice and there are many minor ailments that can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.

If in doubt, call Healthline on 0800 611 116. They provide free health advice 24/7 – and if you do need to be seen, the clinicians at Healthline can tell you where to go.

If you have children/tamariki under 5 at home, Plunketline on 0800 933 922 also provides free health advice 24/7.

Health Navigator has plenty more great advice for winter wellbeing.

Noho ora i tēnei takurua - stay well this winter, Canterbury!

Page last updated: 21 June 2022

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