Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, Simon Coveney, has confirmed that government has given Saint Nick the go-ahead to resume his annual philanthropic journey to deliver presents to children who have been on their best behaviour.
Coveney’s message was well-received from panicked parents, as rumours started swirling that Santa may have been prevented from visiting people due to Covid-19.
Luckily, it has been confirmed that not only is he exempt from the need to self-quarantine, he is also able to come in and out of Irish airspace and 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,” Coveney warned.
“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.”
Coveney said he was informed by Santa that he is grateful for still being able to deliver presents in “a very, very different Christmas in 2020”, adding that the presence of Mr Claus at Christmas time is something that will clearly always remain consistent.
The issue of Santa Claus was on Coveney’s agenda for weeks as Covid-19 cases continue to soar around the world.
Watch part of Coveney’s address below:
Closer to home, the Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay has been the first metro declared a Covid-19 hotspot. The announcement came on the eve of the festive season.
As of Sunday evening, there were 4 116 new cases in South Africa, 22 206 deaths, more than 814 000 positive cases, and 744 780 recoveries. So far, more than five million tests have been conducted.
There have been a total of 4 978 Covid-19-related deaths in the Eastern Cape. On Sunday, 124 deaths were recorded in the province.
Compiled by Nica Richards