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

Introduction of the traffic light system is a timely reminder to get tested if you have visited a location of interest

Friday 3 December 2021Health news2 minutes to read

Please attribute to Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health.

The transition to the traffic light system is a timely reminder to follow the COVID-19 protocols including getting a COVID-19 test if you have visited a location of interest and self-isolate away from others in your household or in the accommodation you are staying in until you return a negative result.

Given there are cases in multiple regions, this is especially important as the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout New Zealand will increase as people start moving more freely around the country.

Current locations of interests are available on the Ministry of Health website and there is also a direct link from this website to the Unite Against COVID-19 homepage.

Remember, testing is free but before you come in for a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or Healthline to arrange a suitable time. Contact details of West Coast GP practices are available online –

If you have recently returned to the Coast after visiting a location of interest and you’re not sure what you should do, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.

In addition, 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.

Under traffic light system orange, we all continue to have a part to play.

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you leave the house
  • Use the COVID Tracer App (by scanning the QR code), wherever you go and ensure Bluetooth is turned on within the app – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Follow good hand hygiene practices
  • If you are double vaxxed, download your My Vaccine Passport.

Remember, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves, our whānau and our communities. A full list of all clinics is available online – COVID-19 vaccination clinic locations on the West Coast – Vaccinate Canterbury and West Coast (

Further information on the COVID-19 Protection Framework are available on the COVID-19 website – COVID-19 Protection Framework | Unite against COVID-19 (



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Page last updated: 3 December 2021

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