The person who lied to South Australia’s contract tracing team and caused the entire state to plunge into lockdown won’t be fined for his actions, because a mechanism to do so literally doesn’t exist.
Commissioner Grant Stevens has clarified that under the current laws in South Australia, the individual who lied to contract tracers cannot even be fined a single cent.
In a press conference on Friday, Stevens made it clear that with the current laws in place there is “no mechanism” for the man to be fined.
“The Emergency Management Act requires people to provide information on request. There is no penalty for failing to truthfully answer those questions,” said Stevens.
On Friday, it emerged that a COVID-19 positive person had lied to contract tracers, telling them he’d merely picked up a pizza at Adelaide’s Woodville Pizza Bar rather than being honest about working several shifts behind the counter.
This implies that he was not in fact casually spreading the virus onto multiple surfaces throughout the day, but instead was most likely to have picked up the virus from someone he was working with.
“That clearly changes the circumstances and had this person been truthful to the contact tracing teams, we would not have gone into a 6-day lockdown,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“The second consequence of that lie is 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.
“There is an absolute need for us to move quickly over the next 24 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.”
According to Commissioner Stevens, no further details can be given about the individual apart from the fact that he is male, and worked several shifts at Woodville Pizza Bar. It is as of yet unclear as to why the person lied to officials in the first place.
Authorities are currently on the search for close contacts of the man, and police are presently stationed outside the pizza joint.
“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,” said Stevens.
“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.”
South Australia will be ending their lockdown early, starting from midnight Saturday. A total of 100 people will now be allowed to visit pubs and restaurants and a total of 50 people will be allowed to gather at private functions and funerals. Suddenly I feel bad for everyone who rushed to have their weddings early.
Despite throwing South Australia into lockdown for deception, there will likely be no punishment for the individual.
He just might want to not show his face around mates for a while.