The Australian National University infectious diseases physician spoke to news.com.au about the restrictions in place.
“Sitting on a bench by yourself, fishing by yourself, walking on a beach if it’s not crowded. Why do they matter?” he told news.com.au.
“These things protect people’s sanity when there are going to be restrictions for a long time.”
Aussies are currently living under strict lockdown rules in some states, but the government has flagged that restrictions could be eased in four weeks.
However, Collignon believes that pubs will still be closed for a while, but low risk activities could be looked at.
“A lot of things we are doing are panic reactions from seeing on television what’s happening in New York or London, where they have lost control of the infection, rather than doing what they are doing in Korea, which is a similar nation to us” he said.
He said that the basic advice to keep 1.5 metres to 2 metres away from others and washing your hands regularly seemed to be helping to flatten the curve of new cases of COVID-19.
“We know this works and people will keep doing this intuitively over time,” he said.
He explained that it’s important that the rules make sense if people are expected to maintain social distancing for six months to two years.
“A lot of people will go stir crazy if they are locked inside their houses,” he said.
“We’ve got to work out what to do based on a nuanced approach rather than imposing what works in a place like Bondi Beach across the entire state.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked what restrictions could be eased in an interview on 7:30 on Thursday night.
“Today we talked at National Cabinet in particular about things like infrastructure and how we can get some of those works moving,” he said.
“I think what you’ll see is more people being able to work at work, that might be on a roster type basis. I mean, some of that is happening now already,” he said.
“But what we are looking to do, and schools also come into that ultimately, and what we’re looking to do is get the pace, get the churn, the activity in the economy moving back up.
“Because when that happens, then people’s jobs come back into play. Their incomes come back more strongly. And their reliance on the welfare system and the JobKeeper program will diminish over time.
“The way out of this is to get on top of the virus and to get people back into work and in their incomes. When we do that, we’re winning.”
A new mapping tool that breaks up COVID-19 cases by postcodes could also help governments decide which areas might be able to lift social distancing measures first.
The University of Sydney developed the interactive map using NSW Health and Australian Bureau of Statistics Data.
“There are some areas in western NSW and northern NSW where there have been no cases recorded,” Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott told news.com.au.
“In the event that the government decides they want to start lifting or relaxing some social distancing measures, you will have the opportunity to do it, for instance, in those areas first.”
“We felt it was important as … there was increasing anxiety that Australia would become another Italy or Spain,” he said.
“We wanted to provide further information to the public and thought data visualisation was a good tool of communication.”
This article originally appeared on Over60.