Santa’s grottos can open if Father Christmas wears a mask and stays 2m away

Children desperate to meet Father Christmas will be pleased to know that it is safe to visit the grotto this year – if the big man is in a mask.

Kids will be able to give their wish lists to old St Nic as long as festive grottos follow safety regulations.

Unfortunately, due to distancing rules, little’uns won’t be able to sit on Santa’s knee, but they can still request presents from a safe distance.

Grottos will be allowed to open in all tiers provided they are in venues that are legally allowed to open, The Sun reported.

It will be a big relief for youngsters across the country who might have been worried about seeing the festive gift giver this year.

Only last week did Boris Johnson confirm that Father Christmas was “ready and raring to go”.

The PM said he had put a call in to the North Pole to check that Santa, and the reindeer, were ready for the big day next month.

Boris said: “Just to make sure, I 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 the other reindeer.

“The Chief Medical Officer has asked me to tel you that, provided Father Christmas behaves in his usual responsible way and works quickly and safely, there are no risks to your health or his.

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“Leaving hand sanitiser by the cookies is an excellent idea to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

With the festive period creeping closer many will be wondering what the rules say about school nativities.

They will be allowed in Tiers 1 and 2, but Tier 3 areas will have to live-stream the concerts to parents at home.

Guidance says: “Performances by pupils, such as nativity plays and other seasonal events, should take place within existing school bubbles and avoid mixing across groups.

“Whether audience members, including parents, are permitted to attend festive performances will depend on the tier in their area.”

And it comes after carol singers were told they would not face any Silent Nights this Christmas as ministers gave them the go-ahead to go door to door.

Although indoor singing will be banned except for choirs and professionals, amateurs will still be able to belt out Ding Dong Merrily On High – if they keep 2m apart.

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