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COVID-19 pandemic sparks nationwide Santa shortage

COVID-19 has sparked a shortage of Santas and his helpers in shopping centres across Australia.

People who usually work as Santa are feeling uneasy about returning this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Christmas agencies reported.

Michelle Drinnan from Book A Santa said some of the older Santas feel concerned about working in public after recent outbreaks.

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COVID-19 sparks Santa shortage across Australia.

“Some of our more vulnerable Santas have really realised their health is important and it has given them that little bit more insecurity about working in public,” she said.

Visiting the shopping centre to see Santa is part of Christmas celebrations for many families across the nation.

Families are able to meet Santa and his elves and take photographs with them.

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COVID-19 sparks Santa shortage across Australia.

Agencies are now looking for more people to work as Santa as Christmas draws nearer.

“We’ve got a shortage around the country. We’re looking for people to help spread magic and joy and play the role of Santa’s helpers,” Lindsay Walker from Scene to Believe said.

Christmas agencies said there was a stereotype of who could work as Santa, but they were urging anyone looking to spread Christmas joy.

“There’s a stereotype that the person who plays that character is an older gentleman but we are able to find people of all shapes and sizes and train them and get them suited up to play the role of Santa,” Ms Walker said.

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COVID-19 sparks Santa shortage across Australia.

Rouse Hill Town Centre has managed to find a Santa who has been busy taking photographs with his adoring fans.

“Would be nice if they could come out but if they can’t just means I’ll have to work a bit more,” Santa said.

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