Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been roasted on social media after a British pub posted a happy snap of his visit at the weekend.
Mr Morrison dropped in to the Jamaica Inn in Cornwall, while he was there as an observer to world leaders meeting at the G7 summit.
The pub shared a photo of a smiling Mr Morrison with staff on its Facebook page on Monday (Australian time).
“Pleasure to have the Australian Prime Minister and his 20+ personal team for lunch this weekend,” the post said.
“You never know what you might find at Jamaica Inn!”
But the picture drew a rapid, and angry, pile-on from Australians, with this country’s borders still firmly shut while the pandemic rages.
“Ahhh I’d love to be drinking in the pub with my UK family, who I’ve not seen in three years. Oh wait, I’m in Australia and we’re trapped here and told of COVID-ravaged UK/ poor quarantine systems,” wrote Clare Thompson.
Valerie Greenfield followed up with: “What a lovely tourist photo at taxpayers’ expense while Aussies here continue to be prisoners of this country. I need to beg for a travel exemption, what was your excuse? Attending a meeting that could have been done by Zoom or Skype.”
Sarah Bonner also captured the mood of many Australians.
“Do as i say not as i do. So it’s OK for Scott Morrison to swan off around the globe and to have one to one/face to face discussions with people he needs to (even though he’s not even in the G7). But i can’t see my parents and my child can’t meet his grandparents,” she wrote.
By Tuesday afternoon, there had been more than 800 comments on the pub’s picture, many of them outraged that Mr Morrison is able to travel freely while most Australians cannot.
While in Britain, Mr Morrison defended Australia’s strategy of aggressive suppression of the coronavirus. But he wouldn’t be drawn on when the borders would open.
He said he would “rather be living in the arrangements we have in Australia than anywhere else in the world” and that Britain, despite a high vaccination rate, still has high numbers of new cases.
“At this stage of the pandemic, it is not clear where it goes next … [given] the potential for new strains and other things to occur,” he said.
Mr Morrison acknowledged that Australians haven’t been able to travel overseas for more than a year, but said they could “go to sporting games, or they can go to work, they can live in an economy that is bigger today than it was before”.