Hospital procedures are impacted under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. More details

Hospital procedures are impacted under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. More details


This information is effective from Wednesday 27 July 2022 and was last updated 9pm Wednesday 27 July 2022.

The safety, health, and wellbeing of Southern Cross Healthcare patients, staff, and medical specialists are of utmost importance to us.

Our approach includes ways to help protect and preserve our workforce which will in turn ensure you are able to receive your elective surgery during these uncertain times.

Where areas are experiencing increased cases in the community , additional protections may be added as outlined below.

Under the Covid-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) everyone coming to a Southern Cross Hospital is required to:

  • wear a mask/face covering
  • practise good hand hygiene

All people entering our hospitals are required to sign in using our digital visitor management system. Patients may be asked their Covid-19 vaccination status to help us support their care, however being unvaccinated will not deny patients access to care.

Patient / carer testing requirements

Testing patients for Covid-19 is an important part of the care we provide, because Covid-19 can increase the complications associated with surgical procedures. Pre-admission testing also lets us manage our schedules to ensure hospital capacity is best optimised, and patients get the care they need in a timely way.

We currently use rapid antigen tests (RATs) as a means of testing for Covid-19. These are readily available, making pre-admission testing straightforward for patients.

We are at Orange in the NZ Government's Covid-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights)

The testing requirements below apply to all patients.

Southern Cross Hospital


Covid-19 testing requirement

North Harbour Hospital, Auckland

Auckland Surgical Centre

Brightside Hospital, Auckland

Gillies Hospital, Auckland

Hamilton Hospital

Rotorua Hospital

New Plymouth Hospital

Wellington Hospital

Christchurch Hospital

Invercargill Hospital


All patients are required to complete two rapid antigen tests (RATs) before admission. Advice on how to take a RAT can be found here.

  • The first RAT is to be done two days before admission.
  • The second RAT is to be done the day before admission.

If either result is positive, please phone your hospital as soon as possible.

As soon as you have completed your RAT, please upload your results to One RAT per person can be reported in any 12-hour period.

Please contact your hospital if you cannot access RATs for any reason.

In addition, hospital staff will administer a RAT as part of the admission process once you arrive at the hospital.

Patient visiting is restricted (see below).

For patients and carers entering a Southern Cross Hospital

Symptoms: No one, including patients, should come to our facilities if they feel unwell or have any of the following respiratory infection symptoms:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • a sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • head cold symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, nasal drip)
  • muscle aches or fatigue
  • loss of sense of smell
  • a fever

Current or recent infection: If you have had Covid-19 in the past 3 months, please advise the hospital as you will need to undergo a specialist assessment to make sure you are fit for surgery. This will take into account the urgency of your surgery and how well you have recovered, but could potentially result in a delay of 4-8 weeks after infection.

If surgery is to proceed:

  • It must be at least 10 days after your positive result; and
  • You must have no symptoms; and
  • You must complete rapid antigen testing as advised by the hospital.

Note: If your infection occurred within 28 days of your admission, you will not need to complete rapid antigen testing as part of your admission process. However, from day 29, RATs will need to be completed. This is in line with Ministry of Health advice.

Contact with someone with Covid-19: If you are a household contact of someone with Covid-19, you should not enter our facilities until you have completed at least 10 days of self-isolation.

Recent return from overseas travel: If you have recently travelled overseas, provided that you successfully complete the Covid-19 testing requirement outlined in the table above, there will be no additional restriction placed on your admission.

Shared rooms

  • Orange traffic light. Shared rooms will be in use, however patients will only share a room with others of the same vaccination status.

Visitors to our hospitals

While we normally encourage visitors, the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant means welcoming more people than is strictly necessary into our hospitals would increase the risk for both patients and staff. The following restriction is in place to keep everyone safe:

  • Orange traffic light. Patients may receive one designated visitor or carer at this setting.

Note: In some hospitals where high levels of community spread is occurring, there may be additional testing requirements for visitors (a negative RAT either before or on arrival at the hospital). This approach will help us maintain visiting but also keep hospitals safe for our patients and staff.

Designated carers

Sometimes a patient may require a carer to come with them on their hospital visit. For example, a parent accompanying their child. Each patient at our hospitals is permitted one designated carer. Because carers can spend extended periods of time in our hospitals too, they need to fulfil the same Covid-19 testing requirements as our patients.

Further information about Covid-19

The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website is a comprehensive and reliable information resource.