Merton Council will launch a week-long programme of enhanced testing in the Wimbledon Park area to track the South African variant of Covid-19, after a case was found in the area with no link to recent travel.
The activity is part of the national enhanced testing programme to track and minimise the spread of Covid-19 variants. This has already seen Merton run a successful, unrelated enhanced testing programme in Pollards Hill this month, which has so far found no new cases of the variant.
The latest enhanced offer will be more targeted, as the case occurred in early February during lockdown, and the council will be looking to distribute 5,000 tests in a week, rather than the 10,000 required for Pollards Hill.
The council is asking anybody with no symptoms who is over 16 years old and lives, works or travels for essential reasons to the Wimbledon Park area to get a test via one of the ways offered below.
Mobile Testing Unit – Wimbledon Park Golf Club
Residents can book a test at one of the mobile testing units situated at Wimbledon Park Golf Club, Home Park Road, SW19 7HR or at Wickes car park, Plough Lane Retail Park, Waterside Way SW19 0BW.
Mobile testing units are open daily from Friday 26 February, 8am–3pm until Thursday 4 March.
Pre-booking is required and can be done at merton.gov.uk/EnhancedTests
Pick-up/drop-off test centre, Wimbledon Park
A pick-up and drop-off centre will be operating at Christ the King Church Hall, 9 Crescent Gardens, Wimbledon Park, SW19 8AJ.
Here, residents will be able to pick up and drop off home testing kits. The centre will be open from Monday 1 March, 8:30am–6pm until Friday 5 March.
Testing is being targeted to local postcodes in the Wimbledon Park area – residents are able to check if they are in the testing area by visiting merton.gov.uk/EnhancedTests and checking the map
Mark Allison, Leader of Merton Council, said: “I’d like to reassure those in the Wimbledon Park area over this testing programme. Enhanced testing is to stop any potential spread, and doesn’t mean there is any current outbreak happening in the area.
“I’d also like to thank everyone in advance for their support – Merton is a great place, as we saw from the response to enhanced testing in Pollards Hill recently, which really reassured people and has so far found no new cases of the variant. I have no doubt residents in Wimbledon Park will be equally supportive.
“Our plan is to run this programme for a week and offer reassurance to people that there has been no spread of the South African variant.
“It is also important to remember that this doesn’t have any impact whatsoever on the wider rules around lockdown, or what you can and can’t do. Those rules stay the same and I’d like to thank our residents, because Merton’s community have stuck to the rules and as a result the infection rates fallen.”
Council Leader Mark Allison is available for interview by contacting communications@merton,.gov.uk or by contacting the press office on 020 8545 3483