All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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

Tomorrow’s industrial action called off – services starting to be reinstated at Canterbury and West Coast DHBs

Thursday 3 March 2022Health news2 minutes to read

An Employment Court ruling has called a stop to tomorrow’s planned strike by Allied, Public Health, Scientific and Technical staff who are covered by the PSA (Public Services Association) union. All health services across Canterbury and the West Coast are making plans to reinstate as many services as possible, however, it will take some time to rebook elective /planned outpatient appointments and surgery which has already been postponed.

Everyone whose appointment or surgery had to be deferred will be contacted directly.  Unfortunately we can’t turn everything back on overnight. Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards (DHBs) would like to thank patients for their understanding as staff work as fast as they can to rebook people.

“If anyone is unsure about what to do, they can call the number on their appointment letter,” says Canterbury and West Coast DHB Chief Executive Dr Peter Bramley.

“We’re asking patients to continue being kind, as it may take a few days to reschedule appointments and surgery.  

“We respect the right of our staff to take industrial action and acknowledge the important role that all health workers play in delivering high quality care, but I am pleased we’re able to continue to provide treatment and care without further disruptions for our community at this time,” Peter says. 

“People in the health sector are working hard under extreme pressure, and they have been for some time, as COVID-19 continues to affect the way we live.

“As partners in the fight against COVID-19, we greatly appreciate the mahi that each and every person in our health sector is doing,” he says. 


Note to editors:

The nationwide strike was set to involve a full withdrawal of labour for 24-hours from Friday 4 March to Saturday 5 March. 

Across the Canterbury DHB, 39 professions and over 1500 staff, and on the West Coast, 23 professional and more than 120 staff members, were set to be affected by the PSA strike.


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Page last updated: 3 March 2022

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