Join the conversation - Telegraph readers on the 'stay local' advice

Join the conversation - Telegraph readers on the 'stay local' advice”

The remarks came after Labour accused the Prime Minister of hypocrisy over the incident on Sunday when Mr Johnson was seen cycling in Olympic Park, seven miles away from his home.

With the United Kingdom now under a third national lockdown, official government guidance stipulates that exercise should be limited to once a day and that "you should not travel outside your local area", something that, however, is not enshrined in law.

Downing Street has refused to confirm whether Mr Johnson was driven for his bike ride, or whether he cycled there, but Ms Dick said either method would be permitted under the law.

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the matter when asked about it at a Westminster briefing.

Sophia Sleigh, a journalist from the Evening Standard, tweeted at the time that she was "99.9% sure Boris Johnson just cycled past me in Olympic Park with an entourage of fellow security cyclists".

Downing Street has insisted a bike ride by Boris Johnson - which took place seven miles from his home - did not break Covid-19 rules, despite lockdown guidance saying people should only exercise locally.

Mr Johnson's press secretary Allegra Stratton, asked if Mr Johnson regretted his bike ride, said: "He doing bike rides again - you all know how much he loves his bike".

The Hammersmith MP added: "London has some of the highest infection rates in the country". Boris Johnson should be leading by example'.

She noted that he was "complete with his TfL hat on and a face mask", adding, "alas, I did not have time to ask him my follow up question".

Boris Johnson cycling back when he was Mayor of London
Boris Johnson cycling back when he was Mayor of London

He added: "The Prime Minister acted in accordance with the Covid guidance while he was exercising".

The Health Secretary said: "Yes, you can go and exercise in the park with one other person, but only one other person".

"We have been seeing large groups and that is not acceptable", he said.

"We have set out clearly the rules".

"But, I don't want to do that because, for many people being able to go for a walk with a friend, that often is their only social contact".

Government guidance says daily outdoor exercise is allowed but people should not travel outside their local area.

Mr Johnson's spokesman said the public had been asked to "exercise good judgement" of the rules, but ambiguity about what distance people can travel for exercise has caused confusion.

"That is OK, but you should stay local".

The Government was engulfed in controversy past year when Mr Johnson's then chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, was accused of breaking lockdown rules - a claim Mr Cummings denied.

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