Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said that social distancing measures will remain until a vaccine against COVID-19 is developed, which he said could take a year.
"Social distancing is something we should get very used to for the foreseeable future," Morrison said in an interview with the radio station 3AW, a transcript of which was published on his website.
He said that the measure of maintaining physical distance of a minimum of 1.5 metres won't be relaxed "until there is a vaccine", which consistent with some estimates could take a year to 18 months, reports Efe news.
"It could be a year... But I mean, I'm not speculating about that," Morrison said.
On Thursday, Morrison announced that coronavirus restrictions will remain in s for an additional four weeks, a period during which parliament will resume, and would be eased gradually, although economic stimulus measures would last until September.
Morrison's government has imposed a series of measures within the wake of the pandemic, which limit gatherings to 2 people and urge citizens to remain reception unless buying essentials, for medical aid or to exercise.
It has also suspended non-essential activities but kept schools and daycare centres open while closing the borders to foreigners and imposing a 14-day quarantine on residents and citizens coming to the country from overseas.
The measures, which are implemented progressively since March and have also been amid a string of stimulus packages, including wage subsidies, have resulted during a decrease within the rise in daily cases too but 50 in recent days.
He said that, for the restrictions to be relaxed, more testing to rule out coronavirus would be needed along with sidebetter tracking of a COVID-19-positive person's contacts and quick responses at the community level to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
The Australian government is developing a mobile tracking app to fight the pandemic, which in Australia has produced 6,468 infections, with 63 deaths.
"If people take up this app, that means we have greater confidence that if someone gets the coronavirus, we can more quickly trace down their contacts of people who they may have infected. Now, if we can't do that, if we don't have that capacity, then we'll have to keep the restrictions in for longer," Morrison told the radio station.