Hospital visiting guidelines updated 16 September 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities effective from 16 September 2022

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and other 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 in single rooms may have more than one visitor while patients in multi-bed rooms can have one visitor only per patient to ensure there is no overcrowding.
  • People can have one or two support people to accompany them to outpatients appointments.
  • Women in labour in a birthing suite, in Te Nīkau Hospital’s Maternity Ward and in Buller’s Kawatiri Maternity Unit can have the usual support people, subject to space, for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Eating or drinking at the bedside is at the discretion of the Clinical Nurse Manager. Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their 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.

Mask wearing

  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites, except in counselling, mental health and addiction services where it’s on a case-by-case agreement with patients. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one. In higher-risk environments, people, including young children, may not be able to visit if they cannot wear a mask.
  • 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People are able to 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.

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are COVID-19 positive
  • are unwell. Please stay home if you have a tummy bug or cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19).

Te Whatu Ora West Coast Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities, subject to the space available. All visitors must wear a surgical mask.

More COVID-19 information

COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 2 – access to healthcare and visitor restrictions on the Coast

Tuesday 7 September 2021Health news4 minutes to read

Please attribute comment to Philip Wheble, West Coast DHB Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) Controller:

Under COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 2, visitor access to all West Coast DHB health facilities will continue to be restricted.

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is one of our best defences against COVID-19. For this reason, a no visitor policy continues to apply across all West Coast DHB facilities, unless you are the nominated person as per the visitor exceptions below.

Under Delta Alert Level 2, the following visitor exceptions apply and a person may enter our facilities:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
  • to provide support to a person with a disability.
  • GP or outpatient appointments – a support person will only be permitted under specific criteria – e.g. a person’s carer/support person is required to be with them due to complex needs/diagnosis/or clinical procedures.
  • Children’s Ward – one parent/caregiver to visit a child who is in hospital.
    • Children under 16 who are unwell (unless they are seeking health care) are not allowed as visitors under any circumstances.
  • General Ward and Critical Care Unit – one nominated person may visit once per day during visiting hours and be the only visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Maternity
    • all visitors to our maternity facilities must scan or sign in each time they visit.
    • one support person only to accompany someone presenting for acute assessment.
    • women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two support partners for the duration of the labour and birth.
    • for the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person who will be able to visit. Siblings of the new baby may accompany this person as long as they are well.

Additional exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds at the discretion of the Duty Nurse Manager for the ward or service. Visitors will not be allowed in wards caring for patients in isolation.

Everyone entering any DHB facility will be screened and visitors who are unwell should not be entering our facilities.

Where these visits do take place, all visitors to health facilities are required to wear a mask or fabric face-covering at all times, unless they have a physical or mental condition that makes them exempt.

All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.

Everyone, including visitors should practise good hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser is available for use as you enter and leave all DHB facilities.

Please scan in using the QR code, wherever you go using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App, and ensure Bluetooth is turned on within the app – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case. If you’re not using the app, please sign in at the entrance.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities

To ensure the safety of patients, all of whom are aged over 65, visits to these facilities is by appointment.

Please contact the facility to discuss with the manager. There may be a separate entrance for visitors, please check with staff.

Exemption card for face coverings

We know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a taxi driver. 

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at

COVID-19 testing – updated 8 September 2021

You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice. If you need a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to arrange a suitable time.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and remain isolated at home or in the accommodation you are staying in. This advice extends to anyone even if they haven’t visited any of the locations of interest.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out on the Coast.


PeaBerry, Te Nīkau Campus

Monday to Friday – 08:00am to 4:00pm

  • People are required to scan the QR code on the COVID Tracer App poster (Note: the link previously published here is now no longer active) or if they don’t have the app, to sign the contract tracing sheet at the entrance to the café.
  • physical distancing to be maintained by all café customers.
  • no re-usable cups for coffee.
  • preference for contactless payment.



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Page last updated: 30 January 2023

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