In the must-see official letter and video, Santa is cleared to continue his work in the UK and Ireland
It’s the question on a lot of children and families' minds at the moment: What about Santa? Could he be held up by current travel restrictions? Will he be forced to self-isolate for 14 days? Should he be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines?
Understandably, there's a considerable amount of concern about his wellbeing. But, after much speculation, it appears the government has finally offered us some much-needed clarification on the case of Claus.
Posting on Facebook this week, PM Boris Johnson publicly addressed a letter from eight-year-old Monti. In his letter, Monti wrote:
‘I am 8 years old and I was wondering if you and the government had thought about Santa coming this Christmas.
‘If we leave hand sanitiser by the cookies can he come? Or will he wash his hands?
‘I understand you are very busy but can you and the scientists please talk about this.'
Monti (aged 8) wrote to me asking if Father Christmas will be able to deliver presents this year 🎅🎁🎄
I've had lots of...Posted by Boris Johnson on Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Raising some very valid points, Monti has captured the mood of many this Christmas, as it gradually becomes clearer just how different the festive season is going to be this year.
Seeking to reassure Monti, and children around the country, the PM – after some consultation with his officials – offered a formal reply, outlining some of the steps children can take to keep Santa, and their families, safe. He wrote:
‘Many thanks for your letter which raises the very important question of whether Father Christmas will be able to deliver presents this year in spite of Coronavirus.
'I know millions of other children are asking the same thing. Just to make sure, I have put in a call to the North Pole and I can tell you Father Christmas is ready and raring to go, as are Rudolph and all of the other reindeer.
'The Chief Medical Officer has asked me to tell you that, provided Father Christmas behaves in his usual responsible way and works quickly and safely, there is no risk to your health or his.
'Leaving hand sanitiser by the cookies is an excellent idea to help prevent the spread of the virus – and using it yourself, and washing your hands regularly, is exactly the kind of thing that will get you and your friends on the nice list.
'Thank you again for your letter, and have a very Merry Christmas.'
It’s the reassurance that a lot of families will be looking for this year, and good news for those who have been meticulous in their handwashing.
And similar political responses are being seen elsewhere, with the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, confirming that Santa has been cleared to enter Irish airspace, after being given essential worker status.
Addressing the Dáil parliament, Mr Coveney shared that Santa has confirmed his intention to fly to Ireland on 24 December.
Minister Simon Coveney has told the Dáil that Santa Claus is an essential worker and will not be subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions when he arrives in Ireland next month 🎅🎄 | https://t.co/MElk3qkdy9 pic.twitter.com/mP8WrAwWHG— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 26, 2020
However, Mr Coveney did stress the importance of maintaining social distancing, saying:
“I am assured that children should not stay up at night because he does need to social distance, and so people need to keep at least two metres away at all stages to make sure that we keep him safe and indeed children as well.”
For many children, the latest news will be welcomed, however, in many ways, Christmas is still going to be a real challenge. If you notice that your child is struggling this year, Happiful has plenty of practical tips for supporting them, including:
- How to talk to kids about mental health
- How to help kids deal with anxiety
- Self-care for kids
- How to help kids with stress
However you celebrate the festive season, do it with kindness, generosity, and hope. And know that, even through the toughest times – for both children and their grown-ups – the magic of Christmas is all around us.