New South Wales COVID-19 updates

This page contains the latest updates and information for pharmacists in New South Wales.


For nationally relevant information visit PSA’s dedicated COVID-19 web page.

NSW Health Message to community pharmacists (12 July 2021)


Following the listing of a number of clinical services and pharmacies as public exposure sites in Fairfield LGA, NSW Health is undertaking urgent public health messaging, including the following message for pharmacists which NSW Health has asked PSA to communicate:

Pharmacy staff should:
  • Be aware the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs is very high
  • Screen patrons for respiratory symptoms (Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, body aches, sore or scratchy throat, headache, runny nose) prior to entering the premises
  • Ensure anyone identified with respiratory symptoms does not enter the premises and is referred for urgent assessment and testing for COVID-19
  • Be clear about what patrons need, preferably prior to patrons entering the premises
  • Ensure there is no browsing by patrons

This notice particularly affects community pharmacists in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs.


Community pharmacists in NSW can now accept image-based prescriptions received by email or fax from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.
Key points:

  • Digital image can be sent only via email or fax
  • Pharmacist must print and keep copy of prescription
  • Repeats must be kept at pharmacy
  • S4D and S8 (Controlled Drugs) excluded
  • Applies to prescriptions issued by doctors and nurse practitioners
  • Change is in place until at least 4 April 2021


Five new S4D Medicines


In a significant change, five additional substances identified have been added in Appendix D of the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008, including:

  • pregabalin
  • quetiapine
  • tramadol
  • zolpidem
  • zopiclone


As with any S4D medicine, prescriptions for these medicines can only be dispensed for up to six months from the date of issue.


A list of all Schedule 4 Appendix D medicines is available on the NSW Health website.


PSA has been advised this includes prescriptions which were written before the date of this change. For example, a prescription for quetiapine dated 1 September 2019 is now expired.


NSW Health has prepared FAQs available here.

The current testing criteria in New South Wales can be found here.

HealthPathways is an online clinical and referral information portal used by clinicians at the point of care. HealthPathways provides access to management and treatment options on a range of clinical presentations and information about local clinical services and their referral processes.


Pharmacists that reside within the PHNs below can access health pathways, particularly the pathway relevant to COVID-19 response, for best practice treatment and management.

NSW Health has published a suggested action plan for community pharmacy OTP dosing points as a contingency plan for the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Access information on the suggested strategies provided for consideration and implementation as appropriate here.


Access information for pharmacies supplying OTP for patients in self-isolation from COVID-19 here.


Access a copy of the suggested delivery procedure here.

Contact the Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.

The location of COVID-19 respiratory clinics are available via the NSW Health website.

PHN Phone Email Website
Central and Eastern Sydney 1300 986 991 info@cesphn.com.au www.cesphn.org.au
Hunter New England and Central Coast 1300 859 028 info@hneccphn.com.au www.hneccphn.com.au
Murrumbidgee 02 6923 3100 ceo@mphn.org.au www.mphn.org.au
Nepean Blue Mountains 02 4708 8100 admin@nbmphn.com.au www.nbmphn.com.au
North Coast 02 6618 5400 enquiries@ncphn.org.au www.ncphn.org.au
Northern Sydney 02 9432 8250 info@snhn.org.au www.sydneynorthhealthnetwork.org.au
South Eastern NSW 1300 069 002 info@coordinare.org.au www.coordinare.org.au
South Western Sydney 02 4632 3000 enquiries@swsphn.com.au www.swsphn.com.au
Western NSW 1300 699 167 admin@wnswphn.org.au www.wnswphn.org.au
Western Sydney 02 8811 7100 wentwest@wentwest.com.au www.wentwest.com.au

If you have any queries or are looking for the latest, up-to-date advice regarding COVID-19 in your state or territory, please contact your local PSA office.