Australian Capital Territory COVID-19 updates

This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in the ACT.

The information on this page was last updated: Thursday 9 July 2020, 1.45 pm AEST.

You can also find nationally relevant information via the RACGP Coronavirus (COVID19) information for GPs webpage

For up-to-the-minute information, visit the Australian Federal Government Department of Health website and subscribe to receive the bi-weekly COVID-19 newsletter for GPs from the Chief Medical Officer.

  • Public health contact
    ACT Health Communicable Disease Control (CDC) Section, can be contacted (02) 5124 9213 during business hours, or 0409 185 412 after hours. There is no requirement to notify CDC of patients who are undergoing COVID-19 testing. However, clinicians are welcome to discuss any case with CDC at any time.
  • ACT Health key links:
  • Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has released a revised Statement on recommendations for managing health risk as COVID-19 measures lift – 9 July 2020
    Key information for general practitioners:
    • The statement presents an approach to assessing and managing an individual’s risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness should they contract the disease. It can be accessed on the AHPPC page of the Australian Government Department of Health website.
    • The statement is accompanied by a guide for general practitioners to inform discussions with patients around individual risk related to COVID-19 as the pandemic evolves.
    • The AHPPC has also published the following resources:
      • A template to assist individuals to develop a COVID-19 action plan, which can be used in conjunction with the guide for general practitioners when discussing COVID-19 related health risk with patients.
      • A tool to help people make COVIDsafe decisions about work, transport, and social activities in the COVID-19 pandemic (Living well in the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • ACT Chief Health Officer alert regarding the ongoing escalation of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, reflecting increasing community transmission of COVID-19
    Key information for general practitioners:
    • A Public Health Direction came into effect in the ACT on Friday 3 July in response to increasing COVID-19 cases in Melbourne. The Public Health Direction has been updated as the situation in Victoria has continued to evolve.
      • From 7:00am on Friday 3 July, anyone entering the ACT who has been in a Melbourne hotspot must quarantine for 14 days after leaving the hotspot.
      • From 11:59pm on Monday 6 July, anyone entering the ACT who has been in the greater Melbourne metropolitan area must quarantine for 14 days after leaving Melbourne.
      • From 12:01am on Wednesday 8 July, anyone (other than ACT residents) travelling into the ACT from Victoria will be denied entry unless they are granted an exemption. ACT residents will be able to return home, but they will be required to enter quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria.
    • GPs and other community health practitioners who have recently travelled to Victoria, but are not in quarantine under a Public Health Direction (see above), should be particularly vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and arrange to get tested for COVID-19.
    • Health practitioners should actively seek a patient’s travel history and determine if they have been in Victoria in the past 14 days. If yes, the practitioner should be alert to even mild symptoms of COVID-19 and have a low threshold for testing, using appropriate PPE.
    Read the full alert.
  • An alert from the ACT Chief Health Officer regarding the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne – 30 June 2020
    Key information for ACT general practitioners:
    • GPs and other community health practitioners who have recently travelled to Melbourne, especially to identified hotspots, should be particularly vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate at home and arrange to get tested for COVID-19.
    • In line with current clinician advice, anyone who has recently travelled interstate should be tested for COVID-19 and managed as a suspect case if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
      Read full advice.
  • Changes to faxed prescription requirements in the ACT
    Changes have been made to the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (MPTG Regulation) to support pharmacists and prescribers with record keeping for faxed prescriptions. Read more.
  • Updated information from the ACT Chief Health Officer regarding COVID-19 – 15 June 2020
    ACT Health released two updates on 15 June 2020:
  • Updates to the ACT Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards
    The Prescribing Standards establish conditions and criteria under which a prescriber may be approved to prescribe a controlled medicine in the ACT under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008. Read more.
  • Shortage of metformin modified-release 500 mg
    The TGA has published its first Serious Shortage Medicines Substitution Notice for metformin modified release tablets. Read more.
  • Australia’s National COVID-19 Primary Care Response – MJA
    The Medical Journal of Australia released an article about Australia’s National COVID-19 Primary Care Response on 29 April 2020. You can read it here.
  • Preparing in case of medicines shortages
    ACT Chief Health Officer’s has made a decision to adopt the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s protocol for medicines shortages during the COVID-19 emergency. Read the letter to practitioners and ACT CHO standing order.
  • Telehealth Prescribing – ACT
    Electronic prescriptions are enabled by ACT legislation. To find out more read information for prescribers and pharmacists or FAQs page.
  • MASK order forms
    MASKS are available via your local PHN. Apply here.
  • Electronic prescription
    Electronic and digital image prescriptions are now enabled in the ACT for all medicines. Detailed information is available on the health professionals ‘Medicines Matters’ page of the ACT COVID-19 website. Information about the Australian Government interim arrangements for supply of digital image prescriptions is also available on its website for prescribers and pharmacists. – 17 April 2020
  • Testing for GDM
    Read the updated information for GPs regarding temporary changes to procedures for testing for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus during the COVID-19 crisis – 9 April 2020
  • Managing influenza
    Planning and managing influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic guideline – 9 April 2020
  • AHPPC statement
    Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) coronavirus statements about COVID-19 are available on the DoH website – 7 April 2020
  • FAQs for GPs
    Read the COVID-19: Frequently asked questions for General Practitioners – 15 March 2020
  • Specimen collection
    Read the Specimen collection for COVID-19 in the community health setting – 19 March 2020


Join the RACGP NSW&ACT Facebook group to chat with your colleagues and stay up to date.

Upcoming webinars

  • TBA

View previous webinars


RACGP has an ongoing series of COVID-19 podcasts to assist you to keep up to date. Most of them are 5–10 minutes long,  you can listen to them anytime. Whilst those podcasts are NSW focused much of the information will be applicable in ACT.

Practice THAT! Podcast series for the practice manager

Just a GP






Capital Health Network

(02) 6287 8099


Phone: (02) 9886 4700 


Join the RACGP NSW&ACT Facebook group to chat with your colleagues and stay up to date

3rd round of the Quick Clinician Survey on COVID for policy impact
The ANU Medical School's GP unit is leading the Australian arm of an international research for policy project. The survey aims to track the response and capacity of primary care practices to deal with COVID-19 as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic on "usual" general practice. Round 3 of the survey opens on 19 June and closes on the 24 June 2020. Take a survey.

Series 1 – Quick COVID Clinician Survey Summary (Australia)
ANU has conducted a survey amongst Australian GPs on COVID-19 impact. Please see results..

Free online courses on communicating COVID-19
The University of Melbourne have developed an online course with the Doherty Institute on COVID-19. It is delivered via a series of eight tutorials with the first one available online now. It is FREE and whilst primarily designed for clinicians in primary care and hospital-based settings, it also has a broader secondary audience of pharmacists, nursing and allied health staff, aged care workers, and disability care workers. Enrol here.

'I don't see us winning this war': Health workers plagued by information crisis
Dr Charlotte Hespe was upset when she saw acquaintances circulating emails that promoted bogus coronavirus prevention measures. To make it worse, the information claimed to be from an infectious disease expert when it wasn't. In her Sydney general practice, visitors have requested prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug promoted by US President Donald Trump as a treatment for coronavirus, despite a lack of evidence for it working. Read in ABC News.

Bulk-billed telehealth
Although is a legislative requirement that the new telehealth services must be bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years old and patients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, health providers may apply their usual billing practices to the telehealth items for patients who do not fit the above criteria. Read more about bulk-billed MBS telehealth Services

Winnunga Health Service
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services has collected the most important information about COVID-19 for their clients on their website

PIP information
Temporary increases to incentive payments for general practices due to COVID-19 are available. These incentive payments will increase support for bulk billed services and ensure patients keep access to essential face-to-face care. Find out more.