Hands off, Joe! Biden accused of breaking strict Covid social distancing at Boris meeting

G7: Boris Johnson and Carrie meet Joe Biden and Jill

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But fresh images from the bilateral meeting of the pair show a far closer affair. Pictures have emerged from the first in-person meeting of the Prime Minister and US President showing Mr Biden with his hand on Mr Johnson’s shoulder.

The pair and their wives struck up a good relationship as they met at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

No10 officials say the two leaders spoke for more than 80 minutes in a longer than expected bilateral meeting.

The love-in was clear for all to see as Mr Biden and Mr Johnson shared jokes in front of the camera.

Mr Biden said to reporters: “I told the Prime Minister we have something in common. We both married way above our stations.”

Mr Johnson chipped back: “I’m not going to dissent on that one.

“I’m not going to disagree with you there or indeed on anything else, I think highly likely.”

The US President also declared the special relationship between the two countries “stronger than ever”, while Mr Johnson hailed the alliance as “indestructible”.

But images of friendly exchanges between the pair have led to raised eyebrows among Brits still living under coronavirus restrictions.

While Government guidance now permits hugging and close contact between friends and family, it says social distancing should continue to be observed in other situations.

Images of the contact between Mr Johnson and Mr Biden sparked a wave of comments on social media.

One person said: “Why oh why are two supposedly bright people standing so closely?”

Another added: “No masks and no social distancing…”

A third remarked: “Hand on the PM’s shoulder in every photo.”

Meanwhile, a fourth said: “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.”

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The close contact appears in a break of the protocols put in place for the G7 summit.

No10 officials confirmed a “family photo” of all leaders of the G7 would take place with strict social distancing measures in place.

The photograph will also take place outside so no masks need to be worn.

All leaders and their delegations, as well as the visiting media, are also expected to take daily lateral flow coronavirus tests to help prevent an outbreak of the virus at the summit.

There have already been two outbreaks of the virus.

Yesterday a hotel in St Ives housing security and media for the summit was forced to close due to a number of people texting positive for Covid.

This morning it was also claimed two of Angela Merkel’s bodyguards had tested positive.

Both are understood to now be self-isolating.

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