Keeping a super-infectious UK strain of coronavirus from penetrating Australian shores will be a key focus for Scott Morrison and state leaders on Friday.
The prime minister, premiers and chief ministers will hold a national cabinet meeting by videoconference a month earlier than initially planned.
Medical experts will present a detailed report on the UK virus which is more infectious than other strains.
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It is causing a sharp rise in cases in England and prompted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to order a national lockdown until at least mid-February.
While there have been cases of it detected in Australian hotel quarantine among people who have returned from overseas, it has not appeared in the community.
Victoria has suggested daily testing of people involved in managing hotel quarantine, and there are proposals that flight crews and passengers become subject to tighter checks.
Mr Morrison said confidence was rising in the effectiveness of the hotel quarantine system, which could lead to Melbourne accepting more arrivals from February.
Thousands of Australians are awaiting the green light to return, but are limited by flight availability and quarantine capacity.
Also on the agenda will be state and territory involvement in the rollout of vaccines, which is set to start in February.
Approval of the Pfizer vaccine is expected this month, while the AstraZeneca version being made by CSL in Melbourne is expected to get the tick in February.
The government is hopeful a network of vaccination hubs will be able to deliver it to four million Australians by the end of March.
The first people to be vaccinated will be quarantine and border workers, frontline health officials, aged care and disability workers and aged care residents.
It would then be rolled out gradually to all Australians via a broader network of clinics and pharmacies.
Queensland is on high alert for cases of community transmission after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel tested positive for COVID-19 – ending almost four months of zero locally acquired cases in the state.
Victoria reported no local, interstate or overseas acquired cases to report on Thursday – its first clean sheet since December 29.
But the state is still trying to identify the source of the state’s first mystery COVID-19 case in more than two months, which has now been genomically linked to Sydney’s northern beaches outbreak.
NSW recorded no locally acquired cases, but six travellers have returned positive tests.
Another case related to the northern beaches was detected after the cut-off and will be included in Friday’s figures.
© AAP 2021