Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that Santa had been cleared to enter Irish airspace after being given essential worker status by the Dail parliament in Dublin.
Mr Coveney confirmed that Father Christmas had confirmed to the Irish authorities his intention to fly to Ireland on December 24 as usual and that he has been given “essential worker” status.
This means he will not be subject to coronavirus travel restrictions when he arrives next month.
“As minister for Foreign Affairs we’ve been working on the Santa Claus issue for a number of weeks now,” said Mr Coveney.
“And it’s important to say to all children in the country that we regard Santa Claus’s travels as essential travel for essential purposes and therefore he is exempt from the need to self-quarantine for 14 days and should be able to come in and out of Irish airspace and indeed in and out of Irish homes without having to restrict his movement.
“But I am assured that children should not stay up at night because he does need to social distance and so people need to keep at least two metres away at all stages to make sure that we keep him safe and indeed children as well.
“So he’s exempt, he’s coming, he’s confirmed that, and he appreciates the fact that Ireland has ensured that in a very, very different Christmas in 2020, the visit of Santa Claus will be something that will remain consistent.”
Speaking from his home in the North Pole, Santa said: ” I have been following all the current advice regarding Covid-19 containment measures. I’ve been washing my hands, checking them twice and making sure to wear my mask whenever I’ve needed to pop to the shops to pick up some fresh gingerbread and cocoa.
“I’m delighted that I’ve been given “essential worker” status and am cleared to bring everyone a little Christmas cheer this festive season. I’ve told the elves that they better not cry, better not pout and I’ll tell you why, because I’ll be coming to town soon! Ho ho ho!” he added.
Mr Coveney did warn that Santa would still need to follow the current socially distancing rules, so children should remain in their beds on the night to make this possible.