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

West Coast DHB invites remaining Group 3 Coasters to book their COVID-19 appointments

Thursday 15 July 2021Health news3 minutes to read

Please attribute the following to Ralph La Salle, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 response, West Coast DHB:

Letters inviting the remaining Group 3 Coasters to book appointments for their COVID-19 vaccination should start arriving in people’s letter boxes over the next few days.

To date, well over a third of the estimated 9,500 Group 3 Coasters have received at least one of their COVID-19 vaccination doses. We are now inviting the remaining Group 3 people to book an appointment.

Group 3 includes people aged 65 and over; people with some underlying health conditions; pregnant people; people with disabilities and their carers, plus older Māori and Pacific people, the people they live with and their carers.

We ask that you keep an eye out for your invitation letter which includes important information about how to book your appointment. Everyone in Group 3 will be invited to book their appointment by the end of July.

If you think you’ve been missed out or you don’t have a GP, email with your name, date of birth and how you qualify for Group 3. 

We currently have vaccination clinics open in Greymouth (Tues – Sat); Westport (Tues – Sat); Hokitika (Wednesday) and Reefton (Thursday). We are running regular mobile clinics in a number of rural Coast communities including Karamea, Franz Josef, Hari Hari and Haast. We also have clinics confirmed for Whataroa and Moana and will provide further information once details have been finalised.

Our plans are in line with our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan which is based on optimising the number of people vaccinated, not the number of vaccination clinics. This means that when we set-up our clinics in smaller townships, we will be offering appointments to all eligible people. Priority will be given to Group 3 people.

To be eligible, you need to be 16 years of age or older and we encourage anyone who is not registered with a general practice to do so. Vaccinations are free and will be by appointment only.

As of July 14, 7,807 Coasters have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 5,179 Coasters have received their second dose.

Please note that the COVID-19 vaccine data is available via the Ministry of Health’s website where it is updated weekly –

More information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine is available online:

  • West Coast and Canterbury COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-out website – nz
  • Ministry of Health website –
  • Unite against COVID-19 website –



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 15 July 2021

Is this page useful?