Santa Claus declared ‘essential worker’

Must follow strict rules during exemption period in Northwest Territories

Santa Claus declared ‘essential worker’

Children living in the Northwest Territories will be happy to hear Santa Claus has been declared an essential worker, so he won’t face certain COVID-19-related restrictions.

The government there has granted a four-hour self-isolation exemption for Santa Claus to deliver gifts to homes during the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for non-resident workers.

“Santa Claus is as much a man of science as he is a cherished icon of holiday wonder and magic. He is confident the conditions of his Christmas Eve isolation exemption will keep everyone safe,” says Kami Kandola, chief public health officer of the Northwest Territories. “Santa deeply appreciates being permitted to deliver toys to NWT children, who he understands have been extraordinarily well-behaved during the pandemic.”

However, Santa Claus must follow strict rules during the exemption period to lower the public health risk of COVID-19 spread in the territory. He is required to wear a face mask while he is delivering gifts, and to carefully monitor Rudolph and elves for any symptoms of COVID-19.

“I am delighted that Dr. Kandola has personally reached out to Santa Claus this unprecedented holiday season to discuss evidence-based protocols to keep Mr. Claus, his team and all NWT families safe during Christmas Eve deliveries,” says Premier Caroline Cochrane.

The Christmas icon wouldn’t want to get in trouble like a screening officer at Toronto's Pearson International Airport who failed to self-isolate while waiting for her COVID-19 test results and was subsequently fired.

Fortunately, Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, announced she had a chat with Santa.

“Parents, #Santa and I had a call to discuss his #ChristmasEve plan, and don’t worry – he’s cleared as an essential worker in Canada.”

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