'Santa will still visit despite Covid-19' Nicola Sturgeon tells children in Christmas message

Nicola Sturgeon has thanked health and care workers and said this festive season will be like no other in her Christmas message to Scots.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers her Christmas message.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers her Christmas message.

Speaking directly to Scottish children, the First Minister added Santa will still visit despite Covid-19 restrictions and children being kept apart from grandparents and other family during the festive period.

Acknowledging this Christmas is “like no other”, she urged people to continue showing their love for each other at a distance rather than coming together.

She said: “As has been the case for so much of this year – the way in which we will show our love for each other, is by keeping apart, keeping our distance from each other.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers her Christmas message.

"That will be really hard for all of us but it will be especially hard for children - for whom Christmas is such a special and exciting time.

“And so if any children are watching this, please know firstly that we have made special arrangements to make sure that Santa will still come to visit.

“And please also know that if you are missing people this Christmas, people you would normally see - maybe your granny and grandad, your uncles and your aunts, or other members of your family – they will be sending extra love to you.”

The First Minister added that she hopes “future Christmases will not be like this”, stating that “more normal celebrations” will be the case in 2021.

Ms Sturgeon also recognised that many will still be working over Christmas and thanked health and care workers for their hard work during the pandemic.

She said:

“I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. The entire country is so grateful for the dedication, expertise, and compassion you have shown us this year.”

In his message, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Scotland has not had a Christmas set against the backdrop of such tragic human loss, suffering and sacrifice since the Second World War.

“My deepest condolences go out to all of those who have lost a loved one, a family member or friend, during this most difficult year. And we say thank you to all those key workers in our National Health Service and care services, the shop workers, people in transport, and so many more who have kept the country going in these most difficult times.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:

“This has been and continues to be a year like no other. And although Christmas 2020 will be very different to normal and the restrictions we will see across the country from Boxing Day will be difficult, the day itself will feel comfortingly familiar.”

He added: “Rest assured, this will soon be over. And in future Christmases we will be able to look back and be proud of the part we played in the fight against Coronavirus.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “For many it’s not the Christmas they had hoped for, but the end of this crisis is in sight and we must all do what we can to get us there safely.”

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