Police said ‘you cannot leave the house to walk the dog or to exercise’ in a tweet on Wednesday, outraging many who said it hurt hurt animal welfare.
People who are found flouting directives can be fined up to $1,000 – including for walking their dog during the lockdown.
Dog owners in SA were outraged by the news on Wednesday and posted about their frustrations and worries for their pets on Twitter.
‘It’s against animal rights not to allow it to exercise,’ one person wrote.
‘WTF??? You can’t just not walk a dog for six days,’ another wrote.
A third wrote: ‘Terrible time to be a dog in South Australia! Don’t hold your breathe for an explanation either.’
‘My thoughts are also with all of South Australia’s dogs who won’t get a walk,’ a sympathetic animal love interstate wrote.
But on Thursday, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens revealed a loophole for owners to walk their dogs at a press conference.
Mr Stevens was asked if people could walk their dogs while they walked to shops.
‘Just in terms of people accessing essential goods and services, if you make a decision to walk to the shop, that’s certainly a legitimate decision,’ he said.
‘It’s a means of transport that we acknowledge. If you take your dog with you or not, that’s a matter for you.’
But the commissioner warned people not to take advantage of lockdown loopholes like walking their dog to the supermarket.
‘We don’t want to see people manipulating rules to suit themselves. This is for a very short period of time,’ Mr Stevens said.
Dog owners have already caught on to the loophole, with one man suggesting on Twitter: ‘Walk the dog to the shop. Easy.’
South Australia began the strict six-day hard lockdown on Wednesday.
The measures are among the toughest in the world, with only countries such as Argentina, Israel and Venezuela enacting such extreme restrictions.
Under the lockdown, masks are be mandatory outdoors, schools and universities have shut, along with restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Outdoor exercise is banned, as well as takeaway food, and even the state’s construction industry, which was never halted in Victoria.
Premier Steven Marshall said the state would ‘throw absolutely everything at this, to get on top of the cluster’ at a press conference on Tuesday.
The lockdown announcement also triggered another round of panic buying as residents flocked to the shops ahead of restrictions.
Hour long queues also formed outside Covid-19 testing centres after health authorities begged residents to get tested.