Australian court upholds ban on pandemic travel

World

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian court has rejected a challenge to the federal government’s draconian power to prevent most citizens from leaving the country so they don’t bring the coronavirus home.

Most Australians have been stranded in their home nation for more than a year under a government emergency order made under the powerful Biosecurity Act. Australia is alone among developed democracies in preventing its citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country during the pandemic except in “exceptional circumstances.”

The libertarian group LibertyWorks argued the government did not have the power to enforce the travel ban.

But the three judges ruled for the government Tuesday. They said Parliament knew the law’s impact would be harsh when it passed the Biosecurity Act in 2015.

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