Leader thanks Wimbledon Park residents as enhanced testing programme comes to an end

The Leader of Merton Council has paid tribute to residents and volunteers in the Wimbledon Park area, after a week-long testing programme to track the South African variant of COVID-19 resulted in over 5,000 tests being delivered.

Following identification of a case of the variant at the beginning of February, which wasn’t linked to travel, the council joined together with the community, AFC Wimbledon Foundation and the Dons Local Action Group to raise awareness and deliver over 5,000 COVID-19 tests in a week.

With almost 4,000 kits already returned and the remainder due in the next day or two, the operation will now be closed down this week:

  • The Mobile Testing Units CLOSED at Wimbledon Golf Club and Wickes car park in Waterside Way closed yesterday (Wednesday 4 March).
  • The pick-up/drop-off service (Open Friday to 6pm, closes 4pm Saturday) at the Christ the King Church Hall at Crescent Gardens will be open today until 6pm, and on Saturday morning, until 4pm for drop-offs only.

Both operations were a success, with around 2,900 tests being completed at the mobile testing unit, and similar amount collected from the church hall (3,300 ).

Test results for the South African variant take up to 14 days to return via the NHS, following confirmation of a positive COVID-19 test, so it is too early to give any indication of results.

Council Leader Mark Allison said: “This is a great community effort, and I want to thank everyone in the Wimbledon Park area – businesses and residents alike – for the way they have responded to keep Merton safe. Both mobile testing units were fully booked as soon as they opened, and we met the target of 5,000 tests within a matter of days.

“A special thanks has to go to the council staff who have delivered the programme, whilst maintaining their own vital services, and of course to the AFC Wimbledon Foundation and Dons Local Action Group, who gave up their Saturday morning to support the operation, by delivering leaflets to properties in the Wimbledon Park enhanced testing area.

“Their support, along with that of the Commonside Trust who supported us during the testing in Pollards Hill last month, has again shown just how vital our amazing voluntary organisations are in the borough and what a wonderful community we have when Merton pulls together.”



  1. Council Leader Mark Allison is available for interview by contacting 020 8545 3483
  2. Please note: MTU operations close at 3pm Friday; the church hall will be open until 6pm, and will be open again Saturday morning, but only to drop off tests.