| 16 Sep 2021

Alert Level 2: Healthcare Services and Hospital Visitor Restrictions

The South Canterbury DHB will continue to deliver more planned care surgeries and outpatient appointments in Alert Level 2. We are contacting patients directly to reschedule appointments and surgeries.

We thank the community for your patience and understanding, while we work through the new guidelines for Alert level 2. We need to look at alternative ways of working in order to increase capacity safely.

Patient safety is paramount at the South Canterbury DHB:

  • Current screening measures will remain in place for all patients and visitors
  • Physical distancing and other safety measures must be maintained to ensure patients and visitors can be kept 2m apart at all times.

With the move to Alert Level 2, we need to remain vigilant because more people will be circulating in South Canterbury. It is important to use basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.


At Alert Level 2, the South Canterbury DHB will adopt the below visitor restrictions for the SCDHB facilities (Timaru Hospital and Kensington) to protect our vulnerable patients and ensure the required 2 metres physical distancing can be maintained:

  • Visiting hours are strictly 2 - 8pm only
  • A patient can have up to two visitors per day
  • Only one visitor at any one time  
  • Each visitor can only visit once a day.

The following service exceptions apply:

  • Jean Todd Maternity: A support person may be present at any time during the inpatient stay, (refer to the above restrictions for visitors)
  • Maternity Services: Two support partners in the birthing suite (refer to the full policy for further exceptions)
  • Emergency Department: One support person only
  • Outpatients Appointments: One support person if required
  • ICU: A maximum of one visitor at a time for one visit a day
  • Oncology Medical Unit: One named support person per patient.

Please note, visitors or support people could be declined if safe distancing can’t be maintained.

The following exceptions apply:

  • Children visitors under the age of 12 cannot visit unless prior agreement has been made with the charge manager or equivalent
  • With prior approval by the charge manager or equivalent, two visitors from the patient immediate household can visit at the same time based on the ability to maintain distancing requirements, and facility capacity.

Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times at the South Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must also be used.

At all times, where a visitor is allowed to access the hospital, appropriate screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the care environment to ensure they are well and have practiced hand hygiene.

These measures are to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread.

From 2pm on Thursday 16 September 2021 until further notice the South Canterbury DHB are in COVID-19 Visitor Policy GREEN. The COVID-19 Visitors Policy can be found at:


How to protect yourself and others

The South Canterbury DHB continues to remind the public to follow these simple steps can slow the spread of the virus and help protect you, your whānau, and your community from COVID-19.

  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453.
  • Regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • Keep a 2 metre distance from people you do not know
  • Clean or disinfect shared surfaces often
  • Wear a face covering when you leave home
  • Keep track of where you have been with the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Media contact:

Karen Berry
Communications Manager
South Canterbury District Health Board
P: 03 687 2395 | M: 021 139 7442