With 29 days to go until Christmas, Ireland has reassured worried children that COVID restrictions won't stop Santa Claus. Simon Coveny, the country's minister for foreign affairs, confirmed Thursday that Santa's travels will be classed as "essential travel for essential purpose," the Irish Times reports. Santa is "exempt from the need to self-quarantine for 14 days and should be able to come in and out of Irish airspace and homes without having to restrict his movements," Coveney told lawmakers. The minister stressed, however, that "children should not stay up at night because he needs to socially distance."
In the US, Dr Anthony Fauci said last week that children shouldn't worry about Santa catching or spreading the virus. "Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," he said. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine said Santa should still get vaccinated as soon as possible because of his age and weight. "I hear the ventilation in Santa’s workshop is not the best, and opening windows in North Pole winters problematic," he told USA Today. "The good news is that mask compliance there is pretty good, and the elves are committed to social distancing. Mrs. Claus has implemented a program of regular testing and the reindeers now lead contact tracing." (Read more Santa Claus stories.)