Prime Minister Scott Morrison has vowed to establish a national definition for coronavirus hotspots with or without agreement from state governments.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has been asked to come up with a clinical definition as the federal government pushes states to explain border restrictions.
Mr Morrison will use the definition to put the heat on state and territory governments putting harsh travel restrictions on areas without major outbreaks.
“We must not allow this crisis, this pandemic, to force us to retreat into provincialism. That’s not the answer,” he told a bush summit in NSW on Friday.
He said the CMO’s clear definition would be essential for moving away from border restrictions, with a greater focus on other containment strategies.
“If you impose a border, you can’t help but cause problems. That’s why we got rid of them in the first place,” the prime minister said.