Scott Morrison has pushed back against calls for a lockdown, telling those wanting stronger measures to “be careful what you wish for”.
Scott Morrison has pushed back against calls for a lockdown, telling those wanting stronger measures to “be careful what you wish for”.

Virus lockdown: ‘Be careful what you wish for’, says PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again shunned the use of the term "lockdown", noting the country will be living with the current restrictions and social distancing measures until at least October.

"By putting restrictions in place we have to be able to live with them every day," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

"Some organisations advocated much stronger measures. I said to be careful what you wish for, because we will have to live with it for at least six months."

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Mr Morrison said he didn't want to see Australians become so frustrated with the guidelines if they were tightened further, "that they might otherwise walk away from the measures that we already have".

"This is a partnership between governments and the public," he said. "It is a partnership to do things that are sustainable."

He said he wanted the community to understand "that we need to be in this for the long haul".

"It will be months. We need to make changes that we can live with and that we can implement day after day, week after week, month after month," he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday afternoon. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday afternoon. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The Prime Minister first cautioned against the used of the word "lockdown" after a National Cabinet meeting with the state and territory leaders on Friday.

"I don't want to give people … the idea that that is going to be the place we might get to, where people can't go out and get essential supplies, that they can't get the things they need to actually live life for the next six months," he said.

"So, when we talk about potential other restrictions, there is no need for people to rush out and cram supermarkets and do things like that, because of other restrictions that may become necessary."

He said the word creates "unnecessary anxiety" and that a total lockdown was "not an arrangement that is actually being considered in the way that term might suggest".

Stricter social distancing measures have this week been enforced in a number of states and territories, particularly NSW and Victoria where case numbers on Thursday totalled 2298 and 1068 respectively.

Yesterday, Victoria backflipped on a rule forbidding people to visit their partners if they didn't live together.

The "dissenting view" of the state's Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton against a "proportional, scalable and sustainable approach" to the outbreak was revealed last week. He's been pushing for a total lockdown.

Originally published as 'Be careful what you wish for': PM


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