Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed the coronavirus pandemic measures will be in place for at least six months.
"It could be longer," he told A Current Affair during a live interview with Tracy Grimshaw.
The prime minister said that the government's framework of six months was based off modelling done early in the pandemic and that he continued to use this figure to emphasise to Australians that the crisis and measures to contain it will be a long-term fixture.
"There's no quick fix to this," he said.
Mr Morrison hopes that in six months Australia will be in a "different position" in terms of how the virus is moving through the community.
The hope is that in six months if the virus has peaked, measures may then be able to ease.
He acknowledged, however, that there could be no certainty around that timeframe as the "modelling changes every day".
"I can't shield people from uncertainty when they are genuine," he admitted.
Given the long-term nature of the situation, the prime minister stressed that any measures need to be sensible.
If Australians cannot maintain the measures for at least six months, he said, it could ultimately be more dangerous for the community.
The prime minister also hit back at the suggestion Australia did not close its borders soon enough.
"Two-thirds of cases have been imported… but they are from Australians coming home," he said.
"We can't stop Australians coming home.
"When you close the borders, you can't close them to Australians."