BORIS Johnson is under pressure to explain why he reportedly went for a cycle ride several miles from Downing St at the weekend in what could amount to a breach of the Covid rules on exercise.

The Prime Minister was apparently spotted around 2pm on Sunday on his bike near the Olympic Park, which is some seven miles from his home and office in No 10.

The London Evening Standard reported how Mr Johnson wore a Transport for London hat and a face mask when he was observed cycling with his security detail in Stratford in east London.

UK Government guidance on exercise in England states that it should be limited to once a day and people “should not travel outside your local area”.

When pressed about the reports, the PM’s spokesman said he would come back with a response.

A few hours after his reported cycle ride, Mr Johnson held a meeting with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the current lockdown.

A source told the Standard that the PM was exercising, saying: “But he did note how busy the park was and he commented on it at the meeting last night. He was concerned about if people were following the rules and was concerned after his cycle ride around the park.”

The reports of Mr Johnson cycling away from home came just hours after Professor Chris Whitty, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, going on a morning media round underlining the importance of people observing the lockdown rules and urging them to “double down” on them.

Indeed, during a visit to a vaccine centre in Bristol, the PM exhorted people to follow the rules and “do the right thing”. He declared: “Now is the moment for maximum vigilance.”

The PM sighting also follows the well-reported case of two women in Derbyshire, who were last week fined £200 each by the police for visiting a local beauty spot, which was five miles away from their homes.

Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27, were photographed carrying drinks, which they were told was not allowed as the cups of tea were "classed as a picnic".

Police insisted driving to exercise was "not in the spirit" of lockdown but later said new guidance meant it would look again at the issue. Both women said they were pleased the force had decided to think again.

Meanwhile, confusion over the tough new Covid restrictions continued as Downing St was unable to say whether sitting on a park bench was against the rules in England.

Asked if it was within coronavirus rules for a single person to sit on a park bench, the No 10 spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “Let me take that one away and come back to you, on the… park bench question.”

Pressed over confusion on Covid rules regarding whether people could consume takeaway teas or coffees in public, the spokesman replied: “Takeaways are allowed, or restaurants, or cafes are allowed to provide takeaways. People are allowed to leave their homes if it’s for exercise, not socialising.”

Asked if someone could sit on a park bench and have a coffee under current coronavirus regulations, the spokesman said: “We have set out clearly the rules. We have been clear in the exemption for the stay-at-home rule: we are permitting one person to meet another person for exercise.”

Asked if walking outside with a takeaway tea was against the rules, he replied: “Going for a walk, obviously, does count as exercise.”