Social distancing measures could last for several months as community COVID-19 transmissions rise, the Chief Medical Officer said at a press conference this afternoon.
The single most important concern for health experts across the country is community transmission of coronavirus, with the most significant outbreak in pockets of Sydney.
"We're not kidding ourselves - if community transmission becomes significant, that is the real serious concern," Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said.
"That's why these social distancing measures are just so important. That's why they have to be for the long haul. For several months."
Professor Murphy said that Covid-19 guidelines and social distancing measures must be practiced "every minute of the day".
"We have to have sustainable measures that every single citizen complies with … working from home where possible, going out only for the necessities," Prof. Murphy said.
"Not mingling with your friends in a shopping centre or in a park. Practise social distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette."
According to Prof. Murphy, returning travellers are still a major concern for transmission.
"The Health Protection Principal Committee yesterday recommended to governments that the single most important thing we can do is completely stop the capacity for any returning traveller transmitting the virus," Prof. Murphy said.
"[People are] coming from countries now that have large outbreaks, so the risk is getting higher and higher.
"We have to have really good compliance with this social distancing to make it work - we can't have anyone breaking the rules, being stupid, being cavalier, and not taking this seriously."
The Government and health authorities are confident with Australia's testing regime, which has one of the highest rates of testing per population in the world, with one of the lowest positivity rates.
"We have seen dramatic improvements in the practises of everyday Australians, but we are watching really closely," Prof. Murphy said.
"You have seen what's happened in countries around the world, where big community outbreaks have taken off.
"We have to very closely watch this community transmission - that's our biggest concern at the moment."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-social-distancing-measures-last-for-several-months-community-covid19-transmissions-rise-chief-medical-officer/a23b9d29-0dac-4c39-a0fb-654c92346296