CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — 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 COVID-19 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 except in “exceptional circumstances.” Libertarian group LibertyWorks argued the government did not have the power to enforce the travel ban. But the three judges ruled for the government. They said Parliament knew the law’s impact would be harsh when they passed the Biosecurity Act in 2015.
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