Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand could resume sooner than planned as the country brings a coronavirus outbreak under control.
Health Minister Greg Hunt was due to review the travel bubble suspension on Sunday afternoon.
But after receiving some good news from New Zealand, he has brought the call forward by 24 hours.
New Zealand has recorded no new cases of community transmission and there are strong testing rates among hotel quarantine staff, their close contacts and other members of the public.
“If there are continued excellent results out of New Zealand, which is commensurate with their entire performance over the course of the pandemic, then we hope to be in a position to resume that in the coming days,” Mr Hunt told reporters on Friday.
“That should give hope to everybody who is looking at friends or family arriving from New Zealand.”
More than 16,500 people have arrived in Australia from New Zealand since quarantine-free arrangements were established in mid-October.
Australia suspended the travel bubble last Sunday after a woman there was infected with the highly contagious South African strain of coronavirus.
The suspension was extended for a further 72 hours after more community cases were reported in Auckland.
Mr Hunt wants to repair the severed travel ties as quickly as possible.
“If things continue as they are, we hope to have good news before the end of the weekend,” he said.