A majority of state and territory leaders have endorsed a new roadmap to reopening Australia's internal borders by Christmas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all jurisdictions excluding Western Australia had agreed in principle to the plan, which includes a consistent approach to the opening up of the economy and the removal of border restrictions.
According to the roadmap, states and territories would lift their border restrictions by the end of the year, Mr Morrison said.
"Certainly seven out of the eight states and territories will be open and that will be a great day for Australia. You never know, it might be eight," he said.
The roadmap includes a three-step response to coronavirus outbreaks, similar to the plan unveiled earlier in the year.
Under stage one, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, schools and childcare centres will remain open and cafes and restaurants will be able to have up to 10 patrons at a time, so long as an average density of four square metres per person is maintained. Free movement between COVID-free areas will be allowed, although international borders will remain shut.
Under step two, gatherings and venues will be bound by the two- or four-square-metre rules. Domestic border restrictions will be eased and international student and seasonal worker pilots will be allowed to take place.
Step three, or "COVID normal", will remove restrictions on gatherings so long as 1.5 metres can be maintained between participants. Events with under 500 people will be able to go ahead with a COVID-safe plan, and quarantine-free international travel between Australia and low-risk countries like New Zealand will begin. The target date for step three is Christmas 2020.
Stricter conditions may apply in areas where there is a localised outbreak.
States will be able to make changes depending on what is happening in their jurisdiction, but Mr Morrison hoped to avert the border shutdowns of this year in future.
"The focus of the discussion was moving towards more the public health capability to ensure that you wouldn't need those sort of [border] closures in future," Mr Morrison said.