South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has said he is “fuming” after a confirmed case at the Woodville Pizza Bar deliberately misled the state’s contact tracing team.
South Australia has recorded three new cases today, all people in quarantine.
There are 25 cases now linked to the cluster and 4,500 close contacts and their associates are in mandatory quarantine.
“Their story didn’t add up. We pursued them. We now know that they lied,” 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 is completely and utterly unacceptable.”
The infected person told contact tracers they had gone into Woodville Pizza Bar to purchase a pizza rather than working at the shop for several shifts.
According to the Premier, the emergency management act requires people to provide information on request but there is no penalty for failing to truthfully answer those questions.
Despite needing to trace and isolate a whole new group of close contacts, Mr Marshall has announced the state will begin relaxing restrictions, with family groups allowed to exercise together effective immediately.
“The consequence of this lie, is that we are in a six day lockdown,” Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.
“As of midnight Saturday, we will be reverting to a series of restrictions which are very similar to the ones that were imposed at the beginning of this week.
“Premises will be restricted to a density of one person per four square metres [and] will be limited to 100 people in hospitality premises, table bookings will be still limited to 10 people.”
The following restrictions are in place:
• Funerals will be allowed 50 people and weddings will return to an allowance of 150, but guests need to stay seated and there will be no dancing.
• Religious ceremonies will be restricted to 100 people, with private gatherings allowed 50 people.
• Gatherings in private residences will be restricted to 10 people.
• Personal care providers, such as hair dressers and beauty therapists, will be required to wear masks while patrons are strongly encouraged to wear masks too.
• Gyms can also reopen at midnight on Saturday while schools will return on Monday morning.
“We are also aiming, on the basis that we are able to put a ring fence around this current level of activity, that we will revert to where we were last Friday, in terms of the level of restrictions that we had in our community, on 1st December at the same time that we are planning to relax borders for the Victorian-South Australian border,” Mr Stevens said.
It comes as Victoria has shut its border to South Australia as it embarks on a COVID-19 testing blitz in two regional towns.
Victoria has recorded zero new coronavirus cases for the 21st consecutive day, although the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has detailed that there is one case under investigation by the expert health panel.
The “hard border” with virus-hit SA came into effect just before midnight on Thursday and will remain in place until Sunday when a permit system is implemented.
The 48-hour shutdown was prompted by the unexpected detection of virus fragments in wastewater at Benalla and Portland, both along freight corridors, and Adelaide’s growing cluster which had sparked a six-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown.
Residents of those towns, as well as anyone who visited them between November 15 and 17 with any symptoms, are being urged to get tested and isolate until receiving their result.
New testing sites will be opened on Friday afternoon as part of the testing push. Portland’s will be based at a Princess Highway truck spot in Winnap, while the Benalla location is due to be announced on Friday morning.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Allan Cheng said the virus fragments could either be from an active infection, or a recovered case who may still be shedding the virus.
Under the hard border, only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, as well as people authorised by law, such as child protection officers, will be able to cross the border.
More than 300 police will patrol the Victorian side of the South Australian border, from Mildura down to Portland.
It’s the first time Victoria has shut its border to any state during the pandemic.
As the state recorded its 20th day without a coronavirus case or death, Mr Andrews said the closure would not impact plans to further ease restrictions on Monday.
There are only three active cases in Victoria, with 17,161 people tested in the previous 24 hours.
The state’s virus death toll stands at 819, with the national figure 907.
– Additional reporting by AAP.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus
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