Police have been stationed outside an Adelaide pizza bar after it was revealed South Australia’s six-day shutdown was sparked by a lie that nobody would be punished for.
Premier Steven Marshall said he was “fuming” after it was revealed on Friday a worker with coronavirus lied to contact tracers, with authorities now fearful of retaliation against the business.
Mr Marshall said the man was one of the cases linked to the Woodville Pizza Bar, and told authorities he was a customer.
However, after the state was sent into a six-day lockdown, it was discovered he was instead an employee who had worked several shifts.
“To say that I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an understatement,” Mr Marshall said.
“The selfish actions of this individual have put our whole state in a very difficult situation.
“His actions have affected businesses, individuals, family groups and it is completely and utterly unacceptable.”
The premier said he would review public health laws, which do not allow for the man to be charged.
“We need to send a strong message to people who are putting the South Australian public in such a difficult situation because of their lies,” he said.
Angry South Australians flooded the Woodville Pizza Bar’s Facebook page with comments after the premier’s press conference.
While it’s not suggested that the owners or managers of the business knew their employee lied to authorities, the comments show tempers are running hot.
Google reviews for the shop had also been shut down on Friday afternoon.
At the shopfront, west of the CBD, an officer was seen walking up and down Woodville Road while other police vehicles drove past scoping out the business.
Media also swarmed the scene.
With the state still under its lockdown, few bystanders or members of the general public walked past.
Three new cases of coronavirus were announced in the state on Friday, with all three in quarantine.
There are now 25 cases linked to the Parafield cluster, with a further 44 suspected cases.
Mr Marshall announced, in light of the new information, the planned six-day lockdown would instead end on Saturday night.
“I will not let the disgraceful conduct of a single individual keep SA in these circuit-breaker conditions one day longer than what is necessary,” he said.
The stay-at-home order will be replaced by new restrictions which include a density arrangement of one person per four-square-metres, and 10 people at private home gatherings.
Schools will also be allowed to open again, and funerals will be allowed to go ahead with a maximum of 50 people.
Gyms will also reopen and personal care providers will be allowed to operate with masks on.
No further details have been released about the man, who Police Commissioner Grant Stevens confirmed would escape penalty under current laws.
“The Emergency Management Act requires people to provide information on request,” he said.
“There is no penalty for failing to truthfully answer those questions.”
Commissioner Stevens said it would be “wrong” to suggest authorities owed the community an apology, and that the decision to shut the state down was made based on the information available.
“Everybody regrets the actions that we have had to take,” he said.
“Hindsight is a fantastic thing. If this person was honest from the outset, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
It was announced on Wednesday South Australia would be plunged into one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in response to the outbreak.
Under the six-day “circuit-breaker”, residents are not allowed to exercise and only one member of each household can leave the home each day for shopping.