South Australia will end its lockdown early, after it emerged one of the state’s recent cases lied about their whereabouts.
The state’s strict “circuit-breaker” lockdown was based on a lie told to contract tracers, Premier Steven Marshall said on Friday.
The person, who tested positive to COVID-19, told contract tracers they had purchased a pizza from the Woodville Pizza Bar.
In fact, they had worked at the pizza shop for several shifts, alongside a colleague who contracted the coronavirus while working a second job as a security guard in Adelaide’s hotel quarantine program.
“That clearly changes the circumstances, and had this person been truthful to the contract tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown,” Marshall said.
Essentially: working several shifts alongside a COVID-19 positive person increased this person’s chance of contracting the virus.
“To say I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement. This selfish actions of this individual have put our whole state in a very difficult situation,” Marshall said.
“His actions have affected businesses, individuals, family groups and is completely and utterly unacceptable.”
Outdoor exercise with family or housemates will now be allowed “effective immediately”, with the state’s hard lockdown now ending on Saturday night – three days earlier than planned.
From midnight Saturday, up to 50 people will be allowed to gather at private functions and funerals, up to 100 people will be allowed to visit a pub or restaurant, and 150 people will be allowed to attend a wedding (although no dancing allowed).
People will be allowed to have up to 10 people at their home. Hairdressers and beauty therapists will be allowed to operate, but required to wear a mask (and strongly encouraged to ask patrons to also wear a mask). Gyms will reopen Sunday, and schools will return Monday morning.
However, the situation is not ‘over’ just because it’s not deemed as dangerous as it was.
“I stress this point, that this is still a very dangerous cluster and our expert healths remain extremely concerned. We are still trying to locate thousands of people who may have had dangerous contact at the Woodville Pizza Bar,” Marshall said.
The person who lied to contract tracers will not be issued a fine, Commissioner Grant Stevens said. There is no mechanism under current laws to issue a fine.
Authorities are now scrambling to find his close contacts.
“This person has numerous associates, persons of interest that we are now trying to identify and locate that we would not have had to do so had they been truthful from the beginning,” Stevens said.
“There is an absolute need for us to move quickly over the next 24 to 36 hours to identify and locate these people so we know we have eliminated the risk of this particular strain spreading further into the community.”