Parks across Merton are to remain open, despite parks across the UK closing in response to the Government's social distancing advice.

The announcement was made after several residents feared parks would become shut - due to people flouting in parks across the borough over the weekend.

Merton Council say parks are to remain open, as they have a positive impact on peoples health and wellbeing.

Residents who do not have a garden, have been urged to use the parks to keep a clear head during the outbreak.

Merton says they will continue to keep a close eye on flouting and will introduce policing measures if residents choose to ignore social distancing guidelines.

A spokesperson for Merton said: “At present, all our parks remain open, and the guidance is very clear on how and when to use them, and how to practice social-distancing.

“We want to keep parks open as they make a huge contribution to health and wellbeing and are the only outlet for those living in homes without gardens.

“But the guidance is clear - you should only use your nearest one and should keep a minimum of two metres distance from others.

“We have closed areas such as playgrounds, outdoor gyms and tennis courts for safety, but our parks remain there for people to use responsibly.

"We will be monitoring this, and if people do not observe the rules then we will work with the local police and enforcement teams to disperse people.”