The frightening assertion that South Australia was suffering a virulent strain of coronavirus unseen in Australia was based on a ‘disgraceful’ lie by an infected pizza bar worker.
The state’s furious Premier Steven Marshall has announced the strict lockdown imposed on the state, which was based on the false information, will end three days early on Saturday, with millions of residents immediately let out to exercise.
Health officials feared a super strain of coronavirus had been unleashed in Adelaide after it was apparently transmitted on a pizza box from an infected worker to a customer.
But suspicious contact tracers have since discovered this was a lie, and that the customer – who also worked at a quarantine hotel – was in fact employed at Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide.
‘To say I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement,’ he said.
A worker at Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide lied to contact tracers
‘This selfish actions of this individual have put our whole state in a very difficult situation.
‘His actions have affected businesses, individuals, family groups and is completely and utterly unacceptable.’
From Friday, families will now be allowed to exercise in groups.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said South Australia will revert to a series of similar restrictions imposed at the beginning of the week from midnight on Saturday.
Venues are allowed to have 100 guests, with one person per four square metres and table bookings limited to 10.
Funerals will restart with 50 people in attendance, while weddings can host 150 guests. There will be no dancing.
Religious ceremonies will be restricted to 100 people and 10 people can come together for private gatherings.
Commisioner Stevens revealed the positive COVID-19 case who lied to contact tracer claimed they had purchased a pizza from the restaurant.
‘Where in fact they were working there and had been working there for several shifts,’ he said.
‘That clearly changes the circumstances and had this person been truthful to the contact tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown.’
More to come
Pictured: A pig statue wears a mask in deserted Rundle Mall, Adelaide, on Friday
The update comes after the government updated their essential worker list for lockdown, allowing employees at truck stops and bakeries to leave their home.
Under the lockdown, all schools are closed, along with universities, pubs, cafes, retail stores, food courts and takeaway food outlets.
Supermarkets, petrol stations, medical centres and other essential services remain open but people can only leave their homes once a day to buy groceries.
ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO CAN LEAVE THEIR HOME DURING SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S LOCKDOWN
The updated list includes:
- Bakeries that supply baked goods on a wholesale basis (but do not see or supply or sell on a retail basis to members of the public)
- Domestic and commercial waste and resource recovery services (including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), but only those services that are provided to commercial contractors
- Commonwealth agency services, including Australian Border Force and Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services
- Administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home
- Port operations
- Truckstops and roadhouses, but not the provision of seated dining or shower facilities to persons who are not truck drivers
- Commercial operations that supply goods or services necessary for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19