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Westfield introduce new rules for Santa photos shopping centres across Australia

Why Christmas photos with Santa will NEVER be the same – here’s everything you need to know heading into the festive season

  • Santa Claus will be in his red throne in Westfield centres from November 13
  • Westfield has extra measures in place for Santa photos due to Covid-19 rules
  • Families will be seated 1.5 metres away and a landscape shot will be taken 
  • Online bookings will have to be made prior to arriving at centre to see Santa 


The traditional Christmas photo with Santa Claus is set to go ahead this year at major shopping centres across the nation as the festive season approaches, but things will be very different from previous photo sessions due to Covid-19.

Westfield announced that Mr Claus will arrive in its shopping centres on November 13 with strict measures in place to keep everyone safe.

Kids won’t be able to join Santa on his throne or sit on his lap to tell Mr Claus what is included on their Christmas present wish lists.

Westfield announced that Mr Claus will arrive in its shopping centres on November 13 with strict measures in place to keep everyone safe (stock image) 

Instead, families will have to be seated 1.5 metres away in a socially distanced manner.

Face masks will have to be worn by those who visit as well as Santa in every state and territory except for Western Australia, but this will be determined by the restrictions of each government by December 1.

The lengthy queues of waiting for Santa photos will also vanish as online bookings will have to be made prior to arriving at the shopping centres.

The lengthy queues of waiting for Santa photos will also vanish as online bookings will have to be made prior to arriving at the shopping centres (stock image)

The lengthy queues of waiting for Santa photos will also vanish as online bookings will have to be made prior to arriving at the shopping centres (stock image) 

Another safety precaution is that children over the age of 16 may have to show that they are double vaccinated to see Santa Claus.

A landscape photo, which took the place of the usual portrait shots last year, will also remain in place to ensure Covid safe distancing.

Families will have to sit 1.5 metres away to remain socially distanced and a landscape photo will be take the place of the usual portrait shot (stock image)

Families will have to sit 1.5 metres away to remain socially distanced and a landscape photo will be take the place of the usual portrait shot (stock image) 

Scentre Group General Manager Customer Experience Lillian Fadel said Westfield is ecstatic to be allowing families to meet Santa.

‘We’re delighted to be welcoming Santa back to our centres to meet families this festive season,’ Ms Fadel told the News Corp Australia Network.

Ms Fadel mentioned that the traditional props and decorations will fill the photo locations.

Another safety precaution is that children over the age of 16 may have to show that they are double vaccinated to see Santa Claus (stock image)

Another safety precaution is that children over the age of 16 may have to show that they are double vaccinated to see Santa Claus (stock image) 

Santa Claus even noted his excitement at being able to see all the joyful children’s faces soon and to give them a great Christmas after a difficult year.

‘No matter what the restrictions are, my elves and I are working hard behind the scenes to make sure all children get to put in their requests for a very merry Christmas,’ Mr Claus said.

Westfield Plus members can reserve their spot to meet Santa now, while non-members will have the chance from October 22.

Westfield has also arranged for Santa photos to occur virtually if there are any sudden changes to Covid-19 regulations.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Scentre Group for further comment.  

NEW SANTA PHOTO RULES: 

  • online reservations for all Santa photos to cut down on queues at venue
  • people over the age of 16 may have vaccination status checked on entry
  • visitors may need to wear a face mask, depending on government guidelines by December 1
  •  no sitting on Santa’s lap. Kids must keep a 1.5m distance.
  • traditional portrait photo will be replaced with a landscape shot to allow for physical distancing. However, a portraitoption will still be available.

 

 

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