Australia to end most COVID-19 restrictions by July

Australia will ease social distancing measures in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus in a three-step process - with the aim to remove all curbs by July.

Prime Minister warned on Friday (May 8) that caution is key - and that there will likely be setbacks.

"National Cabinet agreed a three step plan and a national framework to achieve a COVID-safe economy and society, and it is our goal to move through all of these steps to achieve that COVID-safe economy in July of this year. In this plan we walk before we run, we know we need to be careful to preserve our gains, but we also know that if we wish to reclaim the ground that we have lost we cannot be too timid. There will be risks, there will be challenges, there will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be setbacks. Not everything will go to plan, there will be inconsistencies. States will and must move at their own pace and we'll cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances."

Australia imposed its strict social distancing restrictions in March.

That, coupled with the closure of its borders,

is credited with drastically slowing the number of new infections of COVID-19 - the disease caused by the virus.

''You know, you can stay under the doona forever and you'll, you know, you'll never face any danger but we've got to get out from under the doona at some time, and if not now, then when?"