Victoria continues to be the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with another day of new cases in triple figures and another death, taking the national toll to 108.
By contrast, Queensland - which only last Friday reopened its borders after more than three months - reported another day of no new cases on Sunday. Three people are currently battling COVID-19.
NSW, the largest state, recorded five new cases to 8pm on Saturday, but authorities are concerned about community transmission, especially a cluster from a Sydney pub.
An 18-year-old staffer was confirmed as the sixth case in The Crossroads Hotel cluster, leading to the NSW chief health officer to significantly expand the self-isolation advice to all people who visited between July 3 and 10.
"Without using the obvious pun, we are definitely at a crossroads in NSW," Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
She said NSW had the opportunity to clamp down on community transmission or go the way of Victoria, which was why the number of flights from overseas would be capped and returned travellers would be charged for quarantining in hotels.
"What we need to do is protect our citizens and put resources where they are needed most and that's in community tracing. I want our health officials to be focused on what they do best."
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews again emphasised the need to follow the lockdown rules in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell shire to try curb the spread of the virus.
"This is not an ordinary Sunday. These next six weeks are not an ordinary winter," he told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
"We all have to play our part, we cannot ignore the circumstances we face. Nobody wanted to be in this position, but this is where we find ourselves."
Mr Andrews announced a further 278 COVID-19 cases, following on from 216 reported on Saturday and a record 288 infections on Friday. The state has recorded more than 1000 cases in the past week.
Adding to the state's woes, 11 of the cases are linked to Brunswick Private Hospital, eight to the Alfred Hospital and two to Box Hill Hospital.
Eleven people have also tested positive at a single aged-care facility.
Mr Andrews also confirmed prep to year 10 students in the lockdown areas of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell will return to online learning from July 20 until at least August 19.
"We can't have the best part of 700,000 students as well as parents moving to and from school, moving around the community, as if there wasn't a lockdown," he said.
The national cabinet decide on Friday to halve the number of incoming international flights to ease pressure on hotel quarantine systems and that returning Australians will be made to pay for their hotel quarantine.
"We believe this is fair," Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
"Australian residents overseas have had three or four months to think about what they want to do. What we need to do is protect our citizens and put resources where they are needed most and that's in community tracing."
Labor leader Anthony Albanese backs the national cabinet's decision on halving the number of incoming international flights, but hopes no one's health is put at risk by putting off a return to Australia because of the cost of quarantine.
"I"m sure that governments will apply a common sense principle there," he told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
Australian Associated Press