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 updates its visitor policy

Friday 25 February 2022Health news3 minutes to read

Please attribute comment to Dr Helen Skinner, Incident Controller, Canterbury and West Coast DHBs Emergency Coordination Centre.

West Coast DHB is applying a limited-visitor policy across all facilities from Friday 25 February, in response to the ongoing transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the community.

Unless you have been contacted by phone to advise that your planned (elective) surgery or appointment is postponed, please assume it is going ahead and turn up at the scheduled time.

Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all West Coast DHB facilities and will be provided if people don’t have them. Approved visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.

Please scan in using the COVID-19 Tracer App or sign in on arrival and provide your contact details. Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must also be used.

By adhering to these conditions, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We 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.

Visitors to West Coast DHB facilities

The only exceptions to the no-visitor policy are listed below:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care – please check with the ward Clinical Nurse Manager or Duty Nurse Manager before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending ED can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital.
  • For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care.
  • For people with disabilities attending an appointment, who can have one support person.
  • Day surgery patients will only require a support person in attendance when being discharged, following their procedure. Special circumstances can be discussed with the day stay registered nurse.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated on 25 February 2022

Approved visitors must have a vaccination pass, wear a mask and follow all other public health measures when visiting a West Coast DHB Aged Residential Care facility. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry and alternative arrangements can be made with the facility manager for anyone without a vaccination pass.

Hospital café restrictions

PeaBerry Café

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre

Open: 8.00am – 2.00pm

Pass/ID: My Vaccine Pass required

Access: Only staff wearing ID badges and members of the public who show their My Vaccine Pass as evidence of full vaccination can be served.



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Page last updated: 25 February 2022

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