Santa Claus has officially been cleared for take-off in Canadian skies, just in time for Christmas.
By following COVID-19 precautions at the North Pole, Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, was able to give Saint Nick the all-clear on December 16.
“Santa and his crew provide an essential service in Canada, and I am thrilled to clear Santa for take-off in Canadian airspace this Christmas,” Garneau said.
Although many Canadians are restricting their holiday gatherings this year in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, officials say they have ensured that Santa and his reindeer have taken all the necessary precautions so that they can safely deliver presents to everyone on the nice list.
Transport Canada safety experts say they have conducted their routine sleigh and reindeer inspections and validated Santa’s pilot license.
Santa himself has been taking steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 at the North Pole.
He’s been washing his hands, maintaining a distance of two metres from the elves in the workshop, and has been wearing his face covering when unable to physically distance.
Additional safety measures have been put in place this year, including a health check and temperature screening before the sleigh takes off. Officials report that Santa has also installed the COVID Alert app on his smartphone.
“Rest assured, Santa’s rosy cheeks are a sign of good health. As for Rudolph, his nose is shining brighter than ever before, and he and the other reindeer are healthy and ready for take-off,” officials say.
While Santa Claus has been cleared, other Canadians are reminded to avoid non-essential travel this holiday season.
Santa and his reindeer can be tracked on NORAD.