The federal government is expecting more COVID-19 patients to be treated at home as Australia's vaccination rate continues to climb and the economic benefit of eased restrictions shows.
More than 1500 new virus cases were reported around the country on Saturday, with Victoria recording 1355 infections and NSW 236, as well as nine in the ACT.
But lower rates of serious cases and hospitalisations will shift the focus to community care, Health Minister Greg Hunt says.
"We know that there will be more cases that will be treated at home because people will be fully vaccinated," he added.
"They may not require hospitalisation, and so the balance will shift from hospitalisation to community care."
The country is expected to eclipse the 80 per cent double dose milestone, which was a key threshold in the national plan, in less than 10 days.
The 80 per cent threshold in Australia will trigger the third stage of the national plan.
Vaccinated residents would be exempt from all domestic restrictions and there would only be baseline restrictions and highly targeted lockdowns under the third stage of the plan.
However, Western Australia's borders are set to remain shut to Victoria and NSW into next year and the state government has announced it will subsidise a further 40,000 airfares in a bid to keep regional tourism afloat.
The WA government has extended its discount airfare scheme through to December 2022 and says the thrifty travellers on Qantas and Virgin flights between Perth and Exmouth, Kununurra and Broome will inject nearly $10 million into regional WA.
Premier Mark McGowan has so far declined to reveal when WA will abandon border closures as other states and territories cement their plans.
He has promised to provide further clarity once WA's full vaccination rate exceeds 80 per cent.
Some data analysts predict that may not occur until early December, with 62 per cent of the state's 16-plus population currently having received both doses.
Nationally, more than 76 per cent of Australia's population above the age of 16 are fully vaccinated.
Arriving in Rome for the G20 leaders' summit, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia's economy was already showing signs of improvement.
"The scenes in Melbourne as people (are) rushing back to retail shops is just another sign that the national plan is opening up our economy as our vaccination rates rise," he said.
"Australians are start reclaiming the things COVID has taken from them."
Nine in 10 Australians over the age of 70 are fully vaccinated and almost 99 per cent have had at least one dose.
Almost 95 per cent of people over the age of 50 have had one jab and more than 85 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to Australia's latest vaccine data.
There was a 230,000 increase in vaccinations on Friday.
More than 35 million jabs have been administered.
Australian Associated Press
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