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Santa Claus doesn’t have to follow COVID-19 rules, Belgian minister says

Will Santa Claus wear a mask in 2020? The coronavirus pandemic might not apply to St. Nick.

A man dressed as Santa Claus wears a protective face shield at Capital City Mall in Lower Allen Township, Pa., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.
A man dressed as Santa Claus wears a protective face shield at Capital City Mall in Lower Allen Township, Pa., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.
Dan Gleiter, The Patriot-News via Associated Press

Santa Claus doesn’t have to follow the coronavirus safety guidelines and rules, according to health officials in Belgium.

What’s going on?

Authorities in Belgium said that Santa Claus is exempt from COVID-19 rules.

Frank Vandenbroucke, the health minister for Belgium, sent a letter to Santa Claus earlier in November that said he would be exempt from the rules.

  • The minister said the rules might interfere with Santa’s delivery of gifts.

Some context:

Just remember — Belgium celebrates Santa a little differently. According to CNN, St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, visits on Dec. 6. In other parts of the country, this happens on Dec. 5. Santa will also deliver gifts by boat from Spain.

What the letter said:

The letter — which was published in the French language newspaper Le Soir — said that Santa has spent enough time quarantining on his boat ride.

  • “As you know, dear St. Nicholas, Spain is in code red. According to the rules, you should therefore stay a few days in quarantine here when you arrive.”
  • “However, since we know that you have no time to lose, and that you need every hour to prepare gifts for each child, we have decided to make an exception.”

Meanwhile, in the United States:

Santa Claus may be coming to town in the United States with a face mask and plexiglass windows, WCVB reports. Kids can tell Santa about their gift desires from behind glass walls and from 6 feet away. Visitors might need to wear masks, too.

“Santa’s age and weight put him at high risk for severe illness from the coronavirus,” according to WCVB.