South Australia imposed an extremely strict coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, attracting international attention when residents complained they were denied permission to walk their dogs.
On Friday, embarrassed officials said they would lift the restrictions two days early because they discovered the entire panicked “circuit-breaker” lockdown was triggered by false statements made to contact tracers.
South Australia’s two million residents said they were “shocked” and “angry” when the harsh new lockdown was abruptly imposed after months of zero coronavirus transmissions. A “cluster” of 36 coronavirus infections linked to a returning traveler from the United Kingdom raised concerns from local health officials.
The state went into panic mode when a man who tested positive for Chinese coronavirus told contact tracers he got sick after stopping to buy a pizza at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide, where several workers had become infected.
Concluding that a highly contagious strain of the virus was leaping