Australia has recorded a daily increase in new coronavirus infections below 100 for the first time in three weeks.
Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday announced 96 new cases of the disease, the lowest infection rate since strict social distancing measures came into place.
“This weekend there is good news for Australia, but there is a warning that we can either lock in the gains or lose those gains,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“This Easter is the time when any Australian can help save a life with their decisions, or inadvertently risk a life.”
More than 6000 Australians have contracted coronavirus, with 51 dead.
There are 260 in hospital, 82 in intensive care and 35 on ventilators, but all those numbers are lower than at the peak.
Mr Hunt said Australians must stay at home over the long weekend to protect lives and give the nation a pathway to navigate the pandemic.
“This in many ways is the most important weekend we may face in the whole course of the virus,” he said.
He is remaining guarded on whether restrictions could be lifted early if infection rates continue to flatten.
“The more successful we are with the difficult but essential measures we are taking now, that gives us the chance to take steps out earlier,” Mr Hunt said.
“But we’ve been up front that we see this as a six-month process.”