Premiers have flagged different approaches to eventually relaxing coronavirus restrictions, with freedom looking more likely to come to some states before others.
For at least the next four weeks, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the tough social distancing rules will continue.
But the path back towards some sort of normality looks different in each state.
NSW: 'I will maintain a cautious policy'
Premier Gladys Berejiklian was not willing to loosen the rules, saying a coronavirus cure could still be a year away.
"Social distancing is with us until there is either a cure or a drug that combats the disease in the serious stages," she said on Friday.
"I will maintain a cautious policy because I think that's what our community wants, but at the same time my government is very conscious of the economic stress and the economic impact this has had on people ... that is a stress we would like to be reduced where possible.
"There may be a case where there is a very, very low health risk but opportunities where people can keep up activity as much as possible."
Ms Berejiklian had better news for NSW parents, saying a "roster system" would be introduced to schools from the third week of term 2, where students could return to class on some days.
Most NSW learning would still happen from home, but students would also rotate through the school to ensure there was never a full classroom.
"It will be a limited number of students everyday," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We need to find a safe way to reintroduce face-to-face education ... The alternative is that students could face up to a year or more at home and we don't think that's appropriate so we do need to take these initial steps."
The president of the NSW Teachers Federation has condemned contradictions and inconsistencies surrounding the state and federal governments' push to return children and teachers back to the classroom.
Victoria: 'If we can relax in certain areas safely ... that's what we'll do'
It was better news for Victorians, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying he was open to relaxing the rules after four weeks.
Speaking on Friday, he said National Cabinet had a "cautious discussion" about relaxing social distancing measures, as long as it did not jeopardise slowing the rise of virus numbers.
"If we can relax in certain areas safely, where there is a reward and it far exceeds the risk, then of course that's what we'll do," he said.
"I'll be having a discussion this afternoon with (Victoria's chief health officer) Brett Sutton around even more testing, even more contact-tracing to make sure that we're ready.
"If it's deemed safe to relax any of these measures, we're going to have to boost all of our detective work, we'll have to boost our testing."
Victoria has maintained its policy for now that if children can learn from home, they must.
Queensland: 'I don't want to give anyone false hope'
Queensland will not lead the way when coming out of social distancing, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned.
"Some other states, they may move on restrictions before Queensland," she said on Friday.
"It depends essentially on how Queensland goes over the next month ... "The last thing I would want to see is all of our good work come rapidly undone so we're going to tread carefully and responsibly."
The premier will look at rates of new cases and community transmissions in an effort to avoid the spikes in cases seen in Europe and United States.
She flagged that any lifting of restrictions may be different in different parts of the state.
"We'll be looking at a number of options, but I don't want to give anyone false hope at the moment," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I know these are tough times, but we have to take this as a day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month proposition and we need to get that balance right."
Schools remain open only for those children whose parents cannot stay with them at home.
Tasmania: 'We need to do more'
The situation in Tasmania is different from the rest of the country, with a spike in the North West leading to a closure of hospitals.
Premier Peter Gutwein had a different message than most of the country's premiers on Friday.
Rather than discussing a way back to normal, he warned a breach of social distancing restrictions would be "strictly policed" and checkpoints placed on the roads.
"I've asked for them to be reviewed this morning and if necessary they will be strengthened to ensure we that we can contain this virus and this outbreak to the North West Coast," he said.
"We are at a very serious moment in Tasmania ... We need to do more."
South Australia: 'We are in the early days of our massive testing blitz'
There was also no talk of relaxing the rules from Premier Steven Marshall on Friday.
He instead talked up a "testing blitz" for the state as a way to tackle coronavirus through 60-minute rapid tests in Adelaide and country areas.
"This is the next phase of cutting edge testing technology being introduced to South Australia, making sure we are on the front foot," he said.
Western Australia: 'We can slowly and carefully return to some level of normal'
Schools will reopen in Western Australia from April 29, but parents can choose whether to send children or keep them learning from home.
Premier Mark McGowan encouraged all year 11 and 12 students to go to class in person.
"It is our expectation that Catholic and independent schools will follow the arrangements we are putting in place for public schools," he said.
He said even if individual restrictions were relaxed, the state's border would remain closed for the long term.
"I wish we didn't have to deal with this situation, I wish COVID-19 never made its way into WA, but it did and it's here," Mr McGowan said.
"We continue to receive encouraging test results and health advice.
"That means we can slowly and carefully return to some level of normal, but we won't take unnecessary chances."