UK prime minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and other world leaders have been accused of ‘double standards’ after they were seen breaking social distancing rules at the G7 summit in Cornwall over the weekend.
Afetr posing for a socially-distanced official group photo on Friday, pictures of them hugging and back slapping each other at a beach barbecue prompted a social media backlash.
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The Mail Online reports: Downing Street has also defended the barbecue, insisting it complied with coronavirus rules.
Less than 30 guests were at the event, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.
‘The event last night was done in an entirely Covid-secure way within the existing rules,’ the spokesman said.
Those attending the summit had a daily testing regime and the event was held outside.
‘This was an informal gathering of the G7 leaders and rightly it is held in private … but you can see it was a relaxed atmosphere and gave the leaders a chance to discuss outside of a formal setting.’
Some social media users had pointed out that there was likely little risk at the outdoor event as all attendees would probably have been fully vaccinated and having regular tests.
Others also said the numbers gathered on the beach paled in comparison to those able to attend cricket and football matches in recent weeks.
However one Twitter user shared the interview clip, writing: ‘One rule for them, another for us.’
‘…any surprises?,’ another responded.
‘After all, double standards is the modus operandi of the UK government, the organizers of this event, is it not?
‘Remember those ministers who broke the Law and got off scot-free? Meanwhile, Joe Public must abide by it. Double standards, too right!!!’
‘People at weddings have to sit 2m away wearing masks, people at the meal have to sit 1m away but if you’re at a government event that should have been carried out virtually instead of this farce, you’re exempt from all rules,’ a third Twitter user commented.
‘Hypocrisy at it’s highest level,’
Similar comments swirled over photos of Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron walking with their arms around each other’s backs. Neither leader was wearing a mask.
On Thursday, Biden and Johnson bumped elbows in socially distanced photos but were also snapped with Biden’s hand on Johnson’s shoulder during an 80-minute meeting in Carbis Bay.
The pictures prompted anger from Brits still living under coronavirus restrictions.
‘No masks and no social distancing,’ one social media user wrote.
‘Why oh why are two supposedly bright people standing so closely?,’ another commented.
A third user posted: ‘I note there’s no social distancing or mask-wearing when world leaders get together, yet there’s no ‘normal’ in sight for the rest of us.’
UK Government guidelines allow hugging and close contact between friends and family but dictate that social distancing should continue to be observed in other situations including the workplace.
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