Santa won’t have to wear a mask under Christmas Covid rules

Rules for carol singing are particularly strict, as singing increases the risk of transmitting the virus through the air

Eleanor Sly
Monday 30 November 2020 12:54 GMT
Carol singer in London
Carol singer in London (AFP via Getty Images)

Under new guidance for Covid-19 in the run up to Christmas, you will still be able to attend church services, volunteer, go Christmas carolling and take a trip to Santa’s grotto.

And Father Christmas will not have to wear a face-mask over his thick white beard, though children will be barred from sitting on his knee to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We know that meeting Father Christmas is a magical experience for children, which is why he will be taking safety precautions, including ensuring that he is operating in a Covid-secure way. But it won’t be required for Santa to wear a mask.”

What people are allowed to do will depend on which tier their region of England has been placed in when lockdown comes to an end on 2 December.

School nativities will be allowed to take place across the country, with differences being that those in tiers 1 and 2 will be able to watch them in person. Those living in tier 3 will have to make do with a live stream or online recording.

Rules for carol singing are particularly detailed, as singing increases the risk of transmitting the virus through the air. Both professional and amateur choirs will be able to perform in “any indoor venue permitted to open” but the audience will not be allowed to participate.

Further advice states: “If singing does take place, steps should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission, including limiting the number of people participating as far as possible.”

Those wishing to carol sing outside will be able to do so with outdoor carolling permitted in any outdoor venue that is allowed to open. Audiences may also join in with singing.

Performances must adhere to performing arts guidance. This is advice created by Public Health England, which says singing must take place in areas that are well-ventilated and that choir members must keep their distance from one another. The audience must also wear masks.

Carol singing, door-to-door, will also be allowed, but only if it’s in a group of six people or fewer.

Santa’s grotto via Zoom (AFP via Getty Images)

Those wishing to volunteer this Christmas will also be able to but are encouraged to do so from home.

All three tiers will be allowed to attend places of worship for services, but who people can attend with depends on which tier their region is under.

Santa’s grottos will be able to open if there are appropriate Covid-secure measures in place, for example social distancing.

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