The festive period will look a little different this year as the coronavirus pandemic looms over the world.
For families, a trip to Santa’s grotto is often a traditional Christmas treat, but having the opportunity to meet Father Christmas might be a bit more difficult this year.
A number of Christmas markets across the UK have been cancelled as a result of Covid-19. These cancellations have resulted in a number of Santa’s grottos also being called off for 2020.
However, if you do get the chance to get up close and personal with Santa Claus, things might be a little different to last year.
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Here’s everything you need to know about what a trip to see Santa will look like this Christmas.
Will Santa’s grottos be allowed to open?
Although there have been cancellations, some locations in the UK will be opening up the doors to Santa’s home.
Red and white masks
As well as his famous white beard, you may find your local Santa wearing a red and white mask to adhere to Covid-19 safety guidelines.
London based company, Ministry of Fun, run “Santa School” and have explained how their grottos will look a little different this year.
Founder James Lovell spoke with Reuters, talking through the three key changes they have advised on.
He said, “We’ve created these masks, which, as you can see, they’re red velvet with white fur trim, just like Santa’s costume... I think a child will feel comfortable with that because I think we underestimate just how used to masks we all are.”
Santa’s little sleigh
As well as masks, the grottos will be socially distanced. So children will not be able to the traditional sitting on the lap, but will instead have to keep to a two metre distance.
However, Lovell insists this won’t take from the experience. He explained, “There’s the social distance grotto... Very easy to do and to make a child two metres away from Santa does not in any way take away from the magic.”
Instead, the school has invented a small sleigh which Santa will put presents on and the children will pull towards them.
One Santa Claus who is part of the Santa School said, “We have to be a bit distant from the children and also the grown ups too... but the fun and the joy and the love and the magic will never change.”
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, The Sheffield Star