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Australia eyes major reopening by Christmas as Covid-19 infection rates plummet

Scott Morrison is set to advance plans to reopen Australia by Christmas as infection rates plummet across the country.

Bondi Beach, Sydney (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS

The Australian prime minister will chair today's national cabinet meeting with the top agenda item a framework to further lift restrictions around the country.

The blueprint received in-principle support from premiers and chief ministers at the last meeting, but has been criticised by doctors who warn it moves too fast.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said allowing large gatherings, more people indoors, returns to workplaces and public transport could deliver the wrong message.

"It represents a significant change in direction, sending a message to the community that will drive complacency," Dr Khorshid said.

"Living with the threat of Covid-19 means that sensible restrictions must remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future."

The leaders will receive Chief Scientist Alan Finkel's review of contact tracing systems around the country.

Vaccine distribution is also up for national cabinet discussion after Pfizer reported its candidate had a 90 per cent effectiveness rate in late-stage clinical trials.

Morrison is expected to outline the federal government's vaccine policy including the requirements for states and territories to assist with distributing the drugs, if they gain approval.

Australia continues to post tiny numbers of new coronavirus cases, with no community transmission on four of the past five days.

Victoria is on a 13-day streak without new infections while NSW has recorded five straight without locally acquired cases.

International arrival caps will be debated with 35,000 Australians who want to return home still stranded overseas.

Special repatriation flights from New Delhi and London arrived in Darwin this week with a combined 319 brought home.

There have been four of the flights into the NT capital since a deal was struck to use a mining hub outside of Darwin for two-week quarantine.

"There is strong demand for the next four flights," a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman told AAP.

National cabinet is also due to talk about the bushfire royal commission report and the National Federation Reform Council meeting next month.