When an employee at a pizzeria lied to call trackers in South Australia, officials said Friday, it led to a strict lockdown across the entire Australian state.
South Australia – with a population of about 1.7 million people – began a six-day lockdown on Wednesday to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
At the time, authorities believed the outbreak was caused by a highly contagious strain of the virus, according to Reuters.
This was because someone told call trackers that he had only visited Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide for a short period of time, while he was actually working several shifts at the restaurant. The employee also reportedly worked alongside another person infected with the new virus.
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Woodville Pizza Bar did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“One of the people who had close contact with Woodville Pizza Bar has intentionally misled our contact tracing team,” South Australian Prime Minister Stephen Marshall said at a press conference Friday. “You didn’t add their story. We followed them. We know now that they lied.”
After learning the truth, Marshall announced that the lockdown would be lifted early, describing the worker’s lie as “disgraceful behavior.”
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“Just as we acted immediately to put in place restrictions to keep South Australian residents safe, we will work to lift them much sooner than we previously recommended,” he said.
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Marshall later added: “To say that I feel angry about this individual’s actions is an absolute understatement.” “The selfish actions of this individual have put our entire country in a very difficult position, and his actions have affected companies, individuals and family groups which is totally and absolutely unacceptable.”
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Despite the impact on the state, Stevens said the employee would not be charged or fined for lying.
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“The Emergency Management Act requires people to provide information upon request,” said Stevens, according to DailyMail.com. “There is no penalty for failing to honestly answer these questions.”