Last updated 24 July 2020

Service updates

Guidance on using parks and green spaces safely

Our parks and green spaces are crucial for exercise and mental wellbeing, but to ensure they stay open for everyone to use, you must follow the Government's rules to stop the spread of COVID-19.

When using Merton's parks or green spaces, it is vital that you take these steps:

  • Do not visit a park if you have any symptoms – fever, coughs, shortness of breath. See NHS guidelines if this applies to you.
  • Parks should be used for daily exercise, permitted activities or essential travel only.
  • You can now:
    • spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing. Please note our parks are very busy at present so if bins are full please take your litter home with you.
    • exercise outdoors as often as you wish - following social distancing guidelines
    • use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis– with members of your household, or one other person while staying at least a metre apart and 2 metres where possible
  • You should not:
    • gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than 6 should only take place if everyone is from just two households. Gatherings of more than 30 people are prohibited, apart from some limited circumstances to be set out in law
  • Please keep your dog under control at all times and on a lead if necessary.
  • If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air. Please consider that people without gardens rely on parks more.
  • Observe social distancing, staying at least 1 metre apart from other people and 2 metres where possible.
    • Use all areas of the park that remain open, not just the paths, so you can maintain an appropriate distance from others
    • If the park is crowded, do not enter if you cannot safely stay at a distance from others, consider exercising in quieter less-used streets.
  • Avoid touching surfaces (such as gates or hand-rails) and your mouth and face. Please follow Public Health England advice on hygiene and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
  • Pay attention to instructions provided by parks services including any officials on site. Temporary measures have been put in place to safeguard you.
  • Do not use areas of the park that have been closed – these are closed to stop the possible spread of COVID-19 through touching surfaces and keeping a safe distance from others.
  • Barbecues are temporarily banned in all of our parks until further notice.