CHILDREN are being taken to see a Santa behind a plastic screen with masked elves and mandatory hand gel to keep the magic of Christmas alive.
Across the UK, youngsters are visiting fully Covid-compliant Santa’s grottoes for the heartwarming experience of Father Christmas asking them what they want this year through an intercom.
Grace Wood-Morris, aged seven, said: “I was so excited as we queued two metres apart with elves in hi-viz jackets and facemasks warning us not to touch anything.
“Then we were allowed to enter the open-air grotto to see Santa Claus himself saying ‘Ho ho ho’ from behind a smeared plexiglass screen. He seemed so cautiously jolly.
“I told him I wanted a Baby Yoda plushie, then I told him again, then yet again but this time while facing the microphone as directed by his elf helper.
“He asked if I’d been a good girl and washed my hands for 20 seconds every time I came in the house even if I’d only been playing in the garden, then instructed me where to collect my wrapped gift which I couldn’t open for 48 hours.
“As I left I saw the elves swoop in to disinfect the chair I’d been sitting in before I went to the Rudolph-themed hand-gel station. So he’s definitely real.”