The global COVID-19 pandemic will not impede Santa or his helpers’ entry into NSW on 24 and 25 December, thanks to an extra-special “essential workers” exemption granted by the NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard.
Mr Hazzard has written to Mr Claus’s North Pole address to say he and his elves and nine reindeers are not required to complete a 14-day isolation in hotel quarantine after their sleigh crosses the NSW border.
This exemption has been shared with NSW Police to ensure Santa is able to travel freely and safely across Australia’s most populous state.
“Mr Claus, I understand you have significant magical powers which allow you to travel the world safely without transmitting COVID-19,” Mr Hazzard writes in the letter.
“I am aware you have safely delivered presents to children in Australia during previous pandemics and as a result I am confident you will take the necessary precautions to keep our community safe.
“Accordingly, this exemption will include the following precautions:
- All presents will be delivered after bedtime to minimise contact;
- You and your elves maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing should you encounter others;
- If you are unwell, you get a COVID-19 test and isolate right away;
- You and your elves must wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitiser;
- Wear a mask if you or your elves are ever unable to maintain physical distancing.”
A spokeswoman for Santa Claus confirmed receipt of the special exemption and said Santa and his helpers were only too happy to comply, having secured a jumbo supply of hand and hoof sanitiser to last their journey.
“After a challenging year, Mr Claus wants this Christmas to be the best yet,” she said.
“Santa’s advice to the NSW community is to stay safe and look after each other as you reflect on how blessed NSW has been in keeping COVID-19 at bay.”