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The three things Australia must achieve before lockdown restrictions can be eased

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the national coronavirus cabinet’s attention has “now been turned to the road out” of the COVID-19 pandemic, but warned it will be weeks, if not months, before things return to normal.

While just 10 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded nationally overnight, current social distancing rules will remain in place for at least four weeks.

But acting Federal Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said social distancing is likely to remain in place for far longer.

“Social distancing, having to stay 1.5 metres apart, that’s likely to be with us until we have a vaccine,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

Mr Morrison said Australia needs to achieve three things before the national cabinet can roll back lockdown rules.

Australia must increase testing capacity, expand tracing ability and improve local response capabilities to contain outbreaks before any easing of restrictions will be considered.

“The baseline restrictions that we have in place at the moment, there are no plans to change those in the next four weeks,” Mr Morrison said.

States and territories which have introduced tougher social distancing restrictions than the national baseline, like Victoria, may roll them back sooner.

But the Prime Minister warned Australia will not leave the health crisis in the same position it headed into it.

“It will be a different world on the other side of the virus, and there will be many challenges.

“We really do need to prepare ourselves as a country for some very sobering news on the economic front.”

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