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Friday 29 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# good news
'He's exempt. He's coming': Government confirms no restrictions for Santa travelling to Ireland this Christmas
Sinn Féin’s John Brady posed the question to Minister Simon Coveney as it is “playing on the minds” of children across the country. / YouTube

THERE WAS GOOD news from the Dáil this morning, as Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed that Santa Claus’ travels have been deemed essential, clearing the way for him to visit Ireland this Christmas.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions recommending against various forms of travel, Coveney said today that Santa is “exempt” but stressed that children should maintain social distancing and ensure they don’t risk Santa’s health when he visits them this year.

Sinn Féin TD John Brady asked the question, pointing out he’d been contacted by a representative from the North Pole over whether Santa would be given clearance to enter Irish airspace.

“This is an important question,” Brady said. “It is not the one that I tabled, but it is playing on the minds of hundreds of thousands of children across the country.”

Those fears can now be eased, however.

Coveney said: “We have been working on the Santa Claus issue for a number of weeks.

“It is important to point out to all children in the country that we regard the travels of Santa Claus as essential travel for essential purposes, so 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 homes without having to restrict his movements.

However, children should not stay up at night because he needs to socially distance.  People need to keep at least 2 metres away at all stages to ensure they keep him and children safe. 
He is exempt and he is coming. He has confirmed that and appreciates the fact that Ireland has ensured that in a very different Christmas in 2020 the visit of Santa Claus will remain consistent.

In a statement, a relieved Brady thanked Coveney for his clarity on the matter.

“As it is important, perhaps even more so than on Brexit, that we have an all-party approach on this important issue,” he said.

I can also confirm that following discussions with Santa’s representatives that although there are reports that there are a number of deputies in the house on the naughty list, at the time of writing, this is not the case, although I believe that in a few instances, it was quite a close run thing – there are still a few weeks to go though.

Sources at the Dáil today were unable to confirm reports that one government minister remarked “bah, humbug” at the Santa news this morning, and has asked for comment. 

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