Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) Nelson Marlborough region is in Orange from 11:59 pm on Wednesday 13 April 2022. 

Everyone has access to healthcare but life at Orange means we will need to protect each other by managing the number of visitors into our hospitals. 

Life at Orange means we protect each other by:

  • Staying away if we are unwell
  • Managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by limiting visitor numbers into the hospital.
  • Understanding the risk by screening patients, support people and visitors at the front door and emergency department.
  • Following public health measures including:
    • Wearing a medical mask, this includes visitors, staff, patients, and support people. 
    • Remaining physically distant and following hand-hygiene and cough etiquette.
    • Scanning-in or recording your attendance (recommended).
  • Restricting the hospital cafe to staff only.

Current hospital visiting restrictions

  • In the inpatient setting (when people stay overnight) this means:
    • Visiting hours are strictly 2.30pm-8pm.
    • One visitor may be nominated by the patient to visit for one visit per day.
    • Children under the age of 16 are restricted from visiting.
    • Exceptions to the above (eg, compassionate grounds) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.
  • In high-risk areas (where screening may be difficult or patients particularly vulnerable such as the Emergency Department, Maternity and Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit) this means:
    • One support person may visit for one visit per day.
    • Exceptions to the above (eg, compassionate grounds) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.
  • In the outpatient setting (where people attend an appointment) this means:
    • No support person, other than one parent/guardian accompanying a child to the child's appointment, may accompany the patient unless in exceptional circumstances.
    • Exceptions (eg, disability, interpreter requirements, compassionate) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the Outpatient charge nurse manager.

A note on masks:

  • It is mandatory for visitors to hospital to wear a medical mask. 
  • It is encouraged for patients and their support person (someone who has been pre-approved to attend to support access for a patient, eg, sign language interpreter, assistance with mobility) to wear a medical mask. If you have a disability or health condition that prevents you from being able to wear a mask, we ask that you provide a valid exemption card and let us know in advance so we can make appropriate plans. Please alert the team by phoning the number provided in your appointment/surgery letter. If we don’t know in advance, you will be asked to wait at the main entrance when you arrive and a clinical member of staff will come and talk with you to understand the risks. This may cause a delay for you as appropriate measures are put in place to keep everyone safe. Valid exemption cards can be issued by Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, Blind Citizens NZ and Deaf Aotearoa. People can request an exemption if they have a disability or a health condition that makes wearing a mask unsuitable.

Visitor guidelines

Nelson Marlborough Health prioritises the safety and privacy of patients, visitors and staff.

We ask visitors to follow common-sense rules to ensure that patients can rest and recover, and to ensure that other visitors are not disrupted.

Rules for visitors to Nelson Marlborough Health hospitals and other facilities

  • Only visit if you are well – patients are vulnerable to contagious viruses and disease
  • Photographs, video and audio recordings can only be taken with the permission of the patient, staff member and other people in the room. Ask first.
  • Violence and threatening or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated. Depending on the behaviour, people who break this rule will be warned or asked to leave. We will also call security staff or police.
  • Respect other patients and visitors in shared rooms. Patients appreciate peace and quiet.
  • Ask medical staff first before offering food or beverages to a patient
  • Alcohol, drugs and cigarettes are not allowed
  • Call in advance if wanting to visit a family member after 8.30pm
  • Wait patiently for assistance from staff who may be busy attending to patients.

We're smokefree, are you?

Nelson Marlborough Health is committed to providing a healthy environment for our patients, staff and visitors. This is why all of our facilities are smokefree.

This means you cannot smoke anywhere on-site – inside or out. This includes the use of e-cigarettes (vaping).

How will I cope being smokefree in hospital?

We have dedicated quit coaches who are available to start you on your smokefree journey and help you to stay smokefree and vape-free.

If you do not want to stop smoking or vaping, our staff will still support you to be smokefree while you are in hospital or other Nelson Marlborough Health facilities.

We can provide nicotine replacement therapy (eg patches or gum) to reduce the severity of some of the symptoms people experience when they can't smoke, such as cravings, irritability and restlessness. 

Want help to quit smoking or vaping?

We know that most people who smoke or vape want to quit and that it can be a hard journey. Talking to your doctor, nurse, midwife about your smoking is a great first step.​

We also have two free services for people in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions that are designed to give you the best chance of becoming, and staying, smokefree and vape-free.

Find out more about help with quitting smoking


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