Construction, education, manufacturing and agriculture are likely to be among the first sectors to experience an easing of restrictions when the peak of the COVID-19 crisis passes.
While Prime Minister Scott Morrison cautioned that "we're still many weeks to go on this", he admitted that planning on the way ahead for the economy was beginning.
"We have got to look to those areas of the economy that can start picking up again, without creating great health risks," he said on Channel Seven's Sunrise program. "It is a real trade-off about getting the best value of the restrictions that you can lift and at the same time, not put the health situation at greater risk."
National cabinet is set to begin considering a path out of the economic clampdown at its meeting on Thursday.
The gathering of federal, state and territory leaders will receive a briefing from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, which comprises the nation's chief health officers and met on Tuesday.
The Commonwealth deputy chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said national cabinet had asked the committee to provide it with "quite detailed advice in relation to what we should do next".
The government is facing mounting calls to ease restrictions on business, and the Prime Minister admitted that "we have got to look to those areas of the economy that can start picking up again, without creating great health risks".
He nominated schools, construction, manufacturing and agriculture as likely areas.
But Mr Morrison cautioned that the nation's leaders had to be "very careful because we do not want to see the horror show that we have seen in so many other parts of the world visited upon Australians".
The government has indicated that it will be guided by medical advice in deciding how and when to begin easing restrictions, and Mr Morrison said testing capacity would be an important consideration.
"We have got one of the strongest testing regimes in the world, but it would need to be stronger still to ensure that we can stay on top of any outbreak in the future," he said.
Australia is conducting around 1190 tests per 100,000 people, compared with 983 per 100,000 in Italy, 829 in New Zealand, 382 in the US and 258 in Britain.
Queensland University of Technology public health professor Gerry Fitzgerald said the nation's success in clamping down on international arrivals meant it could use increased testing capacity to quickly identify and isolate clusters of infection in the community.
Professor Fitzgerald said that if authorities were able to limit transmission by "jumping on any local clusters very quickly", it would be possible for activity in other parts of the country to gradually increase, though he warned mass sporting events were unlikely for a while.
SBS has reported the government is also developing an opt-in mobile app that notifies people if they have come into contact with a diagnosed COVID carrier.
Professor Kelly said there was opportunity to "look more broadly" and identify people who have developed immunity to the virus and search for important answers like how long immunity lasts.
But he warned of the risk of easing restrictions too soon.
"We definitely don't want to just open up everything that we've dampened down on so far because we've seen in other countries what has happened with an uncontrolled epidemic.
"In terms of what is done next, that's a very difficult and balanced decision that needs to be made by a government."
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