Merton, along with the rest of London, is moving to a high COVID Alert Level from 00.01 on Saturday 17 October. This means people must not meet anyone from outside their household or support bubble indoors – not at home or in a public place. People can only meet people outdoors in up to groups of six and should reduce the number of journeys they make.
These new rules are in addition to the current restrictions, which include following the social distancing rules; wearing face coverings in many public places, including shops, libraries, places of worship and on public transport; working from home if possible and pubs, bars and restaurants being required to close at 10pm.
The new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions was introduced in England earlier this week. The Local COVID Alert Levels are medium, high and very high. These are set depending on the number of cases in each council area.
Full details about the Local COVID Alert Levels and the number of new cases reported in Merton can be found on our website.
The Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis MBE, said: “Although cases of COVID-19 in Merton are not as high as in other parts of London, infection levels are continuing to rise significantly here. All the London local authorities are moving to the high COVID alert level together, as many Londoners do not work, study and socialise in the same borough as they live in and having different restrictions in different council areas would be very confusing for everyone.
“These restrictions will only be effective if they are followed. We must all do our bit to help prevent the spread of the virus by washing our hands regularly, social distancing and wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces. Self-isolating is essential if you have symptoms of the virus and are booking a test or if you are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.
“As we have quickly adapted to a new way of life this year, Merton residents have shown resilience and care for those who are most vulnerable and those traits are what will help us to get through the difficult winter ahead together.”
Financial support is available for those on a low income who are unable to work as a result of being told by NHS Test and Trace to go into self-isolation. These payments, worth £500, are available if you are in receipt of certain benefits, or if you can prove that self-isolation will cause you extraordinary financial hardship. If you think you might be eligible, visit our Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payment page.
The COVID-19 Community Response Hub, run in partnership by Merton Voluntary Service Council, Age UK Merton and Wimbledon Guild continues to provide support for those at most risk of developing a serious illness if they catch COVID-19 and isolated households.
The NHS COVID-19 app is available in ten languages. Download it on your smartphone now.