Boris Johnson has reassured youngsters that Father Christmas will be packing his sleigh with presents this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Responding to a hopeful letter from an eight-year-old boy, the Prime Minister said Santa is “ready and raring to go”.
Mr Johnson said he had been inundated with letters, asking whether Santa would be climbing down chimneys in the midst of a global pandemic.
One such letter from Monti said: “I am 8-years-old and I was wondering if you and the Government had thought about Santa coming this Christmas. If we leave hand sanitiser by the cookies can he come? Or will he wash his hands?
"I understand you are very busy but can you and the scientists please talk about this? From Monti.”
In an official letterhead response, Mr Johnson wrote back: “I know millions of other children are asking the same thing. Just to make sure I have put in a call to the North Pole and I can tell you Father Christmas is ready and raring to go, as are Rudolph and all of the other reindeer.
“Leaving hand sanitiser by the cookies is an excellent idea to help prevent the spread of the virus - and using it yourself, and washing your hands regularly is the kind of thing that will get you and your friends on the nice list.”
Monti (aged 8) wrote to me asking if Father Christmas will be able to deliver presents this year 🎅🎁🎄
I've had lots of letters about this, so I have spoken with experts and can assure you that Father Christmas will be packing his sleigh and delivering presents this Christmas! pic.twitter.com/pXwcjHSxZg
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 25, 2020
The Prime Minister tweeted the letter, adding: “Monti (aged 8) wrote to me asking if Father Christmas will be able to deliver presents this year
“I've had lots of letters about this, so I have spoken with experts and can assure you that Father Christmas will be packing his sleigh and delivering presents this Christmas!”
People will be able to join “Christmas bubbles” to allow families to reunite over the festive period.
The UK Government and devolved administrations have agreed the approach despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said the Christmas agreement meant families would be able to reunite across the UK, but warned they must make a “personal judgment” about the risk of who they form a bubble with or if they visit elderly relatives.
In a video released on his Twitter account, he said: “Wherever you are in the country I urge you to keep up the incredible effort that you and everyone else have been making to keep pushing the virus down.
“Of course all this means that this year Christmas will be different. Many of us are longing to spend time with family and friends irrespective of our faith or background. And yet we can’t afford to throw caution to the wind.
“The virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas and we must all be careful.”
He added: “I know this doesn’t equate to a normal Christmas and it won’t work for everyone and it is up to each of us to think carefully about how we use this special time-limited dispensation.”