South Australia: Pizza shop worker investigation takes a sinister turn

Investigators are probing whether a pizza shop worker whose lie about how he contracted coronavirus put South Australia into strict lockdown illegally gained access to another quarantine facility.

The state was plunged into one of the toughest lockdowns the world has seen after a 36-year-old Spaniard falsely claimed he didn’t work at a popular pizza bar.

The man’s lie led health officials to conclude he had caught the deadly respiratory virus from a pizza box after he pretended to only be a customer.

Fears were sparked that the virus had mutated so rapidly that it could now be transferred on a cardboard box, plunging the state into a strict lockdown.

But the man actually worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide‘s inner north-west.

It was later discovered the man also worked as a kitchen hand at the Stamford Hotel quarantine facility. 

The state was plunged into one of the toughest lockdowns the world has seen after a 36-year-old Spaniard falsely claimed he didn't work at a popular pizza bar

The state was plunged into one of the toughest lockdowns the world has seen after a 36-year-old Spaniard falsely claimed he didn’t work at a popular pizza bar

Peppers medi-hotel (pictured) in Adelaide is at the centre of the COVID-19 outbreak scandal as suspicions are raised the pizza worker was at the facility, despite being employed at the Stamford Hotel

Peppers medi-hotel (pictured) in Adelaide is at the centre of the COVID-19 outbreak scandal as suspicions are raised the pizza worker was at the facility, despite being employed at the Stamford Hotel

Peppers medi-hotel (pictured) in Adelaide is at the centre of the COVID-19 outbreak scandal as suspicions are raised the pizza worker was at the facility, despite being employed at the Stamford Hotel

Task Force Protect, which has been set up to investigate any alleged criminal activity before and after advice was given by SA Health in the lead up to the lockdown, are now looking at his connection to another quarantine hotel. 

Suspicions have been raised that the man was at the Peppers medi-hotel facility, despite being employed at the Stamford Hotel, 7news reported. 

Police will look at whether he contracted the virus directly from Peppers.

The man is known to have an associate who also worked at both Peppers Hotel and the Woodville Pizza Bar. 

Detectives seized devices from the Spanish man as part of their investigation. 

Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey confirmed he is not the only person being investigated for lying to authorities.

The man worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide 's inner north-west and also worked as a kitchen hand at the Stamford Hotel quarantine facility (pictured)

The man worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide 's inner north-west and also worked as a kitchen hand at the Stamford Hotel quarantine facility (pictured)

The man worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide ‘s inner north-west and also worked as a kitchen hand at the Stamford Hotel quarantine facility (pictured)

‘I will say that the two people we are still wanting to speak to are certainly related to the pizza shop but the exact role I am not going to comment on today,’ he told reporters on Monday.

‘They are certainly working with solicitors. They are seeking legal advice and legal representation before we speak any further, which is their right, and that is appropriate.’ 

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the ‘dishonesty was not contained to one person’ from the pizza restaurant. 

The strict lockdown imposed on the state ended three days early at midnight on Saturday, with millions of residents immediately let out to exercise. 

Specialist detectives are hoping the technology will assist in their investigation into the Parafield coronavirus cluster. 

More than 4,500 people across the state linked to the Parafield cluster are in quarantine, with 21 close contacts linked to the pizza bar. 

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier (pictured) urged anyone with minor coronavirus symptoms to get tested

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier (pictured) urged anyone with minor coronavirus symptoms to get tested

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier (pictured) urged anyone with minor coronavirus symptoms to get tested

Barista Harsh Mehta serves coffee to customers at his Coffylosophy cafe in Adelaide after lockdown restrictions were lifted on Sunday

Barista Harsh Mehta serves coffee to customers at his Coffylosophy cafe in Adelaide after lockdown restrictions were lifted on Sunday

Barista Harsh Mehta serves coffee to customers at his Coffylosophy cafe in Adelaide after lockdown restrictions were lifted on Sunday

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said that while he was ‘delighted’ with the easing of restrictions, he warned the state that they weren’t yet ‘out of the woods’.  

‘We are still managing a very dangerous cluster,’ he said. 

Police were seen patrolling outside the Woodville Pizza Bar on Friday afternoon amid fears the shopfront would be vandalised due to anger over its role in triggering the lockdown.

Many took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to post vile messages, some calling for those responsible to be charged.

‘How utterly ashamed you should all be. Hope you sleep well at night knowing what you’ve done,’ one wrote.

‘You lied and caused the harshest lockdown the world has seen so far .. imagine that,’ another said.

‘Your the worst someone can get. I hope your business shuts down forever and never sells another pizza again. Burn in hell. You knew they lied so that makes you just as bad. Adelaide’s lowest of lows,’ commented another.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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