Coronavirus: Boris Johnson criticised over bike ride seven miles from home

Boris Johnson cycles his bike over Westminster Bridge in central London

Britain's policing minister Kit Malthouse said local cycle trips were acceptable under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was criticised for riding to the Olympic Park in east London from Downing Street, a seven-mile trip.

Government advice for England says people can leave home to exercise, but adds: "This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area".

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.

"When I realised the person looked like Boris I cycled past them to hear his voice and be sure it's him".

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

London Evening Standard journalist Sophia Sleigh also tweeted that she believed she had seen the Prime Minister in the park.

Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, was quick to reproach Johnson for his alleged bike ride, saying that "once again it is do as I say not as I do from the prime minister".

The comments come after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said Mr Johnson had not broken the law during the bike ride.

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

People in Northern Ireland are advised not to go more than 10 miles from home when exercising.

"If you can get there under your own steam and you are not interacting with somebody. then that seems perfectly reasonable to me".

Morrisons said on Monday that customers who refuse to comply with mask-wearing guidance without a medical exemption will be asked to leave the store, and Sainsbury's confirmed it will post trained security guards at entrances to "challenge" customers not wearing a mask or shopping in groups. And you should be two metres apart from the other person. It's quite a lot and I think it will encourage more people to recognise we are in a health crisis.

Government advice allows people to exercise outside, but says you should not travel outside your local area.

"And, likewise, it is OK, if you went for a long walk and ended up seven miles away from home, that is OK.

And what we're asking people to do is when they exercise to stay local, now local is obviously open to interpretation but people broadly know what local means".

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

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