New government guidelines clarify which Santa’s grottoes can be opened when the lockdown ends on December 2nd this week in England.
The government says some grottos will be allowed in all three levels of the new system
According to The mirror, The instructions state that Santa Claus is allowed as long as the grotto is in a venue that is already allowed to open.
This means that grottos are allowed to be opened if they are in shops, garden centers and department stores on all levels, as non-essential retail is allowed.
However, it is unclear whether they can be opened as part of a Christmas market. Indoor and outdoor markets may be opened as non-essential retail.
Indoor attractions for mostly outdoor tourist attractions are not permitted in Tier 3.
The mirror asked number 10 to clarify these instructions.
The guidelines also urge the grottoes to take “appropriate Covid-safe measures” – including social distancing.
This seems to rule out the traditional grotto of a boy sitting on Santa’s knee whispering his Christmas wishes in his ear.
Santa Claus is unlikely to be legally required to wear face covering, but the instruction states that workers should do so if social distancing is not an option.
Singing carol is also allowed – but with strict health warnings and suggested instructions.
The document states: “When singing, steps should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission, including limiting the number of people attending as much as possible.
“The cumulative effect of aerosol transmission means that the more people are involved, the higher the risk of transmission.”
The “Safer Singing” guide published last week suggests that choral singing should only take place outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms with a limited number of singers – all should be two meters apart.
The performance and rehearsal should be “limited” and, if possible, “reduced”.
The government has also encouraged singers to consider wearing face covering while they sing.