| 01 Sep 2021

Alert Level 3: Healthcare Services and Hospital Visitor Restrictions

The South Canterbury DHB will be delivering more planned care surgeries and outpatient appointments, as we move from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3.

We thank the community for your patience and understanding, while we work through the new guidelines for alert level 3. We need to look at alternative ways of working in order to increase capacity safely.

Our thoughts are with the people who have had services postponed due to COVD-19. We will be contacting patients directly to reschedule appointments and surgeries, if they haven’t been contacted already.

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
  • Alert level 3 visitor policy will be reinstated.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the South Canterbury community for following the Alert Level 4 rules.

With the move to Alert Level 3, we need to be even more vigilant because more people will be circulating in South Canterbury. We must stick to the rules:

  • Keep your bubble as small as possible. If you need to, you can expand it to bring in close family, isolated people or caregivers
  • You legally must stay within your household bubble whenever you are not at work or school
  • It is important that you use basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.


At Alert Level 3, the South Canterbury DHB will adopt the below visitor restrictions for the SCDHB facilities (Timaru Hospital and Kensington) to protect our vulnerable patients:

  • Visiting hours are strictly 2 - 8pm only
  • A maximum of one visitor from the patients extended bubble can visit, for one visit a day
  • No children visitors under the age of 16 unless deemed appropriate.

The following exceptions apply:

  • Maternity services: Two support partners from the patients extended bubble in the birthing suite.

Please note, visitors may be declined if safe distancing can’t be maintained.

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 11.59pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021 until further notice the South Canterbury DHB are in COVID-19 Visitor Policy Orange. The COVID-19 Visitors Policy can be found at:  www.scdhb.health.nz/info-for-you/timaru-hospital/visitors

In COVID-19 Alert Level 3, all non-emergency treatment is postponed. Please DO NOT show up at a dental practice or the hospital.

We are doing our best to support our patients despite the limitations placed on our services. During this lock down, if you require emergency dental treatment, the on call dentist is as follows:

  • Monday: Silver Birches, 03 688 9463
  • Tuesday: Tony Page, 03 688 6463
  • Wednesday: Timaru Dental Care, 03 684 3451
  • Thursday: Stafford Dental Centre, 03 688 0033
  • Friday: Four Peaks Dental, 021 022 63175.

Patients requesting emergency care should undergo a telephone assessment to determine the need for a “face-to-face” appointment.

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