Australian businesses are urging state and federal leaders to restart domestic travel by Christmas, warning border restrictions are costing $319 million a day.
More than 34,000 local aviation workers have been sacked or stood down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Business Council of Australia warns many more jobs are at risk if state border restrictions remain in place.
“Every day flights remain grounded costs Australia $69 million or $2.1 billion a month,” BCA chief Jennifer Westacott said on Thursday.
“When you add in international aviation losses at $250 million a day or $7.6 billion per month, we are talking about an enormous hit to our economy.”
Ms Westacott said the economic recovery would be faster and stronger if agreement could be reached on a national timetable and transparent protocols for removing domestic travel restrictions.
“We are not asking for a free-for-all,” she said.
“We need a highly-targeted, careful and gradual reopening of the economy based on health advice with robust nationally consistent systems in place.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who will host the 30th national cabinet meeting with the premiers on Friday, said the Christmas reopening remained his aim.
“Some months ago we talked about the need to get Australia open by Christmas and we are showing the commitment to ensure we can go into 2021 with great confidence, with a strong working partnership with all levels of government in the country,” Mr Morrison told parliament.
He noted Victorians had “gone through the hardest of it”.
Victoria has recorded five new cases of coronavirus as health authorities race to contain an outbreak that has put five Melbourne suburbs and a public housing block on alert.
Experts are also monitoring the extremely rare case of a Victorian reinfected with the virus.
Only six coronavirus reinfections have been recorded across the world.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said such cases were at “the absolute end of the spectrum”.
“At this stage the best advice is that the case from Victoria is one of those very rare reinfection cases but the science will be followed and the top infectious disease experts in the country are looking at it,” he said.
NSW Health is urging people who attended the Bathurst 1000 motor race and local residents to monitor for symptoms after coronavirus was detected in raw sewage.
The state recorded one local case on Thursday and six infections in hotel quarantine.
A diplomat aged in his seventies has also become the first coronavirus case in Canberra for more than 100 days.
The man flew into Sydney from overseas on October 9 and drove on to Canberra in a private car.
He has been in quarantine since his return to the ACT.
The national cabinet is expected to discuss the economic recovery, progress on aged care emergency response centres, the quarantine review, progress on returning Australians and mental health.