Coronavirus outbreaks will be contained locally rather than by returning to the sweeping statewide shutdowns which succeeded in squashing the deadly disease.
While authorities continue to warn of potential infections as restrictions ease, outbreaks are unlikely to spark a return to harsh lockdown measures.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt pointed to an outbreak in northwest Tasmania that led to a localised shutdown, including the closure of hospitals in the area.
"If there is a suburban, facility-based, or if there is a regional outbreak, we want those localised rings of containment," he told reporters in Canberra on Monday
"It would only be if there was a systemic statewide outbreak that we would look at reversing. At this stage our belief is that is highly unlikely."
Public schools across NSW and Queensland welcomed children back after about two months of most students learning from home, in the latest sign Australia is edging towards a new normal.
Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT are staging staggered returns, while schools in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are already open.
Other restrictions will ease over the next week, with Victoria giving the green light to gatherings of 20 and NSW allowing beauty salons to reopen.
The NRL is also setting the ambitious goal of opening gates to crowds from July 1.
Mr Hunt said the expert health panel would guide any path back to having fans at the footy.
"Our goal is to get Australians back to as much normality as possible as soon as possible but our guideline is to do it safely," he said.
The federal government also announced $20 million for mental health research, with a focus on suicide prevention.
Deputy chief medical officer Ruth Vine, recently appointed to oversee mental health response, cautioned against academic research predicting a 25 per cent increase in suicide.
Dr Vine said suggestions of a likely increase in suicides were unwarranted at this stage.
"There's not been a discernible increase to suicides," she said.
Meanwhile, the Morrison government is resisting calls to expand its wage subsidy program after a humiliating $60 billion blunder, which saw the estimated cost of JobKeeper reduced from $130 billion to $70 billion.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has signalled casuals who have clocked up less than a year with their employer and migrant workers will not be included in the scheme.
However, the tourism sector could be in line for extra assistance to stir it from the coronavirus coma.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is putting more pressure on Queensland to open its borders, raising the prospect of New Zealand travel excluding the Sunshine State.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has helped 20,000 Australians return home during the global pandemic.
There are 501 active cases of coronavirus across the country, only five of which are in intensive care, with the death toll at 102.
More than 6500 of the 7109 people diagnosed with the disease have recovered.
The growth rate of new cases has been under 0.5 per cent for five weeks.
Australian Associated Press
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