Asia Today: Court upholds state border closings in Australia (Lethbridge News Now – November 5, 2020)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s highest court on Friday upheld a state’s border closure and dismissed billionaire businessman Clive Palmer’s argument that the pandemic measure was unconstitutional.

The seven High Court judges ruled that Western Australia’s state border closure to non-essential travel applied during “a hazard in the nature of a plague or epidemic” complied with the constitution.

All Australian states and territories have used border restrictions to curb infections and a court ruling against Western Australia could have impacted their pandemic responses.

The state shut its border to the rest of Australia on April 5 and has maintained the travel restriction despite not recording a case of COVID-19 community transmission since April 11.

Western Australia will relax its border policy Nov. 14 and allow residents from states and territories deemed low risk to enter without going into quarantine.

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