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 testing capacity set to increase today

Wednesday 23 February 2022Health news2 minutes to read

To be attributed to Tracey Maisey, ECC Incident Controller, Canterbury & West Coast DHBs.

In preparation for an expected increase in testing demand, we will be opening our Greymouth community-based testing station today.

The drive-through testing station located in the north-western corner of the Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre campus will be open between 10am to 1pm.

No appointment is necessary but if you do need to get tested, please be aware that depending on demand you may have to queue. Access to the testing station is via Waterwalk Road.

Testing is free and is available to anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been advised by Public Health to get tested.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are like those found with illnesses such as a cold or influenza. With Omicron the most common early symptoms are a sore or scratchy throat and a runny nose.

If you live outside of the Grey District, testing is available via your general practice. Remember, before you come in for a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to arrange a suitable time.

Contact details of West Coast GP practices are available online –

Public health measures remain extremely important with Omicron. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and people eligible for their booster vaccination should get this done for an added layer of protection. As Omicron is spread via aerosols, wearing a surgical mask is more effective than a cloth mask. Physical distancing, good ventilation indoors, handwashing, staying home if sick along with testing all help to create layers of protection for all of us.

You can book online to get vaccinated at or call 0800 28 29 26 (8am – 8pm, 7 days per week).

Clinic details are available on our vaccination website – Home – Vaccinate Canterbury and West Coast (



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Page last updated: 23 February 2022

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