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Santa might Zoom in but won't be landing at North Shore malls anytime soon

In-person visits with Saint Nick on hold due to COVID-19 health orders
In-person visits with Santa are on hold at North Shore malls following provincial health orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. photo Getty Images

Santa may not be able to zoom his sleigh around to North Shore malls for pre-Christmas chats this year, but he may at least be available for a Zoom.

The Big Man is following all provincial health orders this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which means, at least for now, he won’t be stopping by any malls to hear from all the good little boys and girls on the North Shore.

West Vancouver’s Park Royal shopping centre did have plans to have Santa available for socially distant visits during photo sessions provided by a studio in the mall, but those plans are now on hold in compliance with all health orders and to ensure safety for all of Santa’s little helpers (though Saint Nick himself should be safe – provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that Santa is likely immune to COVID-19).

Park Royal, through the North Pole Picture Co., is still offering festive photo sessions for immediate family members starting at $50, although the mall’s website currently states that reservations are full. Click here to see the latest updates on Park Royal’s Santa plans.

Up at North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Centre a plan to have Santa on site for pre-booked appointments is also on hold at least until Dec. 7, as per provincial health orders. Mall employees are still hard at work installing several festive décor areas that will be separated by Plexiglass barriers, allowing holiday shoppers to safely stop by for selfie sessions with immediate family members. Photos can then be submitted to the mall’s digital elves who will use a little North Pole magic to add Santa into the picture.

Over at North Vancouver’s Capilano Mall, Santa won’t be stopping by this year but the shopping centre has partnered with Father Christmas to offer free five-minute Zoom sessions so kids can share their wish lists for this socially distant Christmas season. Zoom session reservation are now open on the Capilano Mall website, with visit times available starting Nov. 21 and running until Dec. 24.

Zoom links will be sent out once appointment times are confirmed on the website. Santa fans will need to have Zoom set up and ready to go for their appointment time to ensure that Santa can keep to his tight digital schedule.

Health authorities have confirmed, however, that Santa has been cleared to make all of his stops on Christmas Eve this year. And the best way to stay on the Nice list is to follow all health orders and help stop the spread of that Naughty COVID-19.

Happy Holidays!

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