Latest Community News
Today we see the latest slight easing of the coronavirus restrictions, the biggest change being non-essential shops opening, with social distancing measures. We can now also spend time outdoors in socially distanced groups of up to six people from different households and single adult households can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household (more details below).

Whilst we all still face unprecedented limitations on what we can do, I am sure many of us have welcomed the opportunity to see friends or family for the first time in over two months. Of course, we must continue to exercise caution and act responsibly to stop the spread of this virus.

As the restrictions ease, we get a sense of what things may be like in the near future, with a continued focus on hygiene and keeping our distance. We must therefore think about how we can all adapt to make this new normal work in a way that lets us do many of the things we used to do. I know that for many shops, pubs and restaurants a real concern is that these new ways of working will mean they will not return to pre-Covid levels of income for many months.

Wimbledon needs a prosperous local economy and I will be supporting initiatives that help local businesses. In one such example, I have been speaking to businesses in Wimbledon Village about pedestrianising a small part of the High Street. This would allow restaurants the opportunity to serve more customers by spreading their tables out ensuring a social distance between customers. 


As the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly developing the information provided here may be superseded very quickly so please do check the Government’s website for the latest guidance:

If you use social media, please follow the Department for Health on  Facebook  or  Twitter  and the UK Government on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
Re-opening of places of worship & non-essential shops
High street retailers and department stores will be allowed to open their doors again from today.

Retailers will need to take certain steps to protect customers and staff, including limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time, placing protective coverings on large items such as sofas which may be touched by passing shoppers, and frequently checking and cleaning objects and surfaces.

Hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector remain closed, because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher where long periods of person to person contact is required.

I'm sure we will all want to show our support for our local high streets and small businesses over the coming weeks, and of course must continue to exercise caution and follow the social distancing rules to do so safely.

From last Saturday places of worship were able to open for individual prayer and reflection. This is defined as a person or household entering the venue to pray on their own and not as part of a group, led prayer or communal act. They should be socially distanced from other individuals or households.
Meeting people from outside your household
For a couple of weeks now we have been able to meet outdoors in a group of up to 6 people with those we do not live with, whilst observing social distancing guidelines and keeping at least 2 metres apart.

I am sure many of us have welcomed the opportunity to see friends or family for the first time in over two months.

From last Saturday, single adult households (in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only) can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each others’ homes, including overnight, without needing to stay 2 metres apart. This chage was made to support the loneliest and most isolated, and provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current restrictions.

Help for the vulnerable and self-isolating in Merton
Merton Voluntary Service Council are mobilising a volunteer taskforce to assist those in isolation with Merton's voluntary sector. They are building a list of volunteers to help households in isolation and those most at risk. If you would like to help, please email:

If you are in isolation and you think you might need help, email or call 020 8685 2272 between 10am–4pm, Mon–Fri.

Centre Court Shopping Centre  is working with the  Dons Local Action  Group to put together small parcels to deliver to the people in the Wimbledon area who are most in need. For more information and to apply for a parcel, please click here .

Last year Wimbledon Foodbank supported 5000+ families in Merton with emergency food parcels and Covid19 is increasing demand for services. They are always in need of donations to help the most vulnerable. Please get in touch with them on if you can help. 
Coronavirus Testing
Anyone aged 5 or over who has coronavirus symptoms is now eligible for a coronavirus test.

If you have a new continuous cough OR high temperature OR loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste, immediately self-isolate and book a test.

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the symptoms.

NHS Track and Trace
If you test positive for Covid-19, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.

This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you, make sure they isolate and get tested if necessary. This is vitally important to stop a second wave of infections and allow us to return to normality.

How it works

You'll be contacted by email, text or phone. Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

You'll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at .

On the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for information including:
  • your name, date of birth and postcode
  • if you live with other people
  • any places you've been recently, such as a workplace or school
  • names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for this information over the phone.

If you're told you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:
  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

If you live with someone at  higher risk from coronavirus , try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

Be aware of scams

The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
Face coverings
From today anyone travelling by public transport must wear a face covering . Very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties are be exempt from this requirement.

Also from today face masks and coverings are required to be worn by all NHS hospital staff and visitors. However, nobody will be denied care due to failure to have a face covering.

The Government also recommends wearing a mask when in any situation where social distancing may be more difficult, such as at the supermarket.

Advice for those at high risk
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme
Treasury figures estimate that only 64% of those eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme have made a claim for the grant.

Discretionary Business Grants Scheme
Following the Government’s announcement of further grant funding for businesses impacted by coronavirus, Merton Council are now accepting applications for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.

This scheme is aimed at small and micro businesses with ongoing fixed property costs who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

To help those businesses who may be eligible,  Merton Chamber of Commerce  are holding an online Zoom session with Merton Council’s Head of Revenue and Benefits.

The applications are not first come first served, so you may wish to attend this session to understand the qualifying criteria, priority groups and what information you need to supply to support your application. Click here to register and find out more.
Local charities and arts funding
In the House of Commons, who gets to ask a Minister a question is determined by a ballot system. I enter all the ballots I can, but have not often been successful recently. However, I was pleased to have had the chance to ask a question for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Ministers last week.

I raised the concerns and problems which local and national arts charities are experiencing during the pandemic. The social distancing rules mean they cannot hold their events and performances, and so lose much of their income. Locally, we are lucky to have Wimbledon BookFest and Wimbledon Music Festival , which do so much fantastic work promoting arts and culture in our area. I asked the Minister to look into what more the Government can do to help such charities.

I also took the opportunity to thank a number of charities in Wimbledon that have done so much during this crisis, including the Wimbledon Food Bank, the Dons Local Action Group, Old Ruts and Old Wimbledonians. The selfless community spirit we have seen from people across Wimbledon during this crisis has been extremely humbling. This resurgence of community spirit has been one of the positives from this crisis and one which we must harness for the future. Whilst the specific requirements will change, the power of volunteering could provide solutions to many of the needs of our local community.
Take your litter home
Finally, as we are all making more use of our fantastic local parks and green spaces at present, please remember to take all your rubbish home with you.

We are seeing far too many examples of litter piling up in our parks and at Wimbledon Common,

So please take an extra bag with you and take your litter home to protect our environment.
Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ