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Legally, how many crimes could Santa be arrested for?

20 December 2021 Blog Macnabs Law

Fortunately we have not been told to change plans for Christmas Day. But we have all been instructed to follow the rules to keep everyone safe, and as a nation, over the past 20 months we have listened to the scientists and the government, in order to protect ourselves and our communities. Well, most of us have. Santa Claus still has a job to do, but is he above the law? Is it ok for him to navigate off course?

Legally how many crimes could Santa be arrested for?

If we were representing him, the first thing we would question is, as a citizen of the North Pole, which legislation must Santa Claus abide to? Under international law, no country currently owns the North Pole nor the region of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it, so it may be problematic. But let’s look at the latest government advice and see what could turn into a legal tribunal and a PR disaster for Father Christmas.

  1. Work from home – We are all accustomed to Zoom presentations and virtual meetings, so surely Santa and his team could have worked remotely too, or used his magic skills to whip up some delivery drones? At the very least should he have contracted Hermes or even Uber or to deliver his packages?
  2. Get your booster – How up to speed is the North Pole with its vaccine rollout? Has Santa been asked for proof of his vaccine passport, or negative lateral flow tests? And does he check in with immigration every time he crosses the border to ensure he is complying with the country’s specific vaccine regulations and requirements?
  3. Quarantine – The North Pole doesn’t currently appear on the Red List, however who knows whether that will change in the next week or two, so what if Santa gets stuck mid-flight or even worse has to quarantine in isolation for 14 days in each country he crosses?
  4. Super spreaders – While coronavirus mostly spreads from person to person, it can also spread from people to animals. Are Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer and their merry troop of flying reindeers going to take over from school children as super spreaders?
  5. Minimise social mixing with other households in the run up to Christmas – with billions of presents to make, the headcount of all the elves working in the Santa factory is huge. There is now a legal requirement on those running businesses to take reasonably practicable measures to minimise the risk of transmission, so what has he put in place? Are the elves social distancing at work?
  6. Take a lateral flow test before visiting other homes – Santa will be popping down chimneys in over 2 billion houses within 24 hours, and given the latest shortage of lateral flow tests, will there be enough for his own personal use?

Along with the latest Covid legislation, Santa could of course fall foul of the law for many other reasons, from breaking and entering, to speeding and entering prohibited airspace, to stealing (even though the milk and cookies might be intended for him, technically consuming them without being invited by the homeowner beforehand would constitute as theft). His PR team may also face a backlash for Santa’s excessive travel and for not off-setting his carbon footprint, and there is also the potential for his many accomplices who we have seen in our shopping centres and nurseries over the past few weeks to be accused of catfishing – creating a fictional persona and targeting little children. Currently catfishing is not illegal, but elements of the activity could be covered by different parts of the law.

A financial package has been put in place to support many sectors that have suffered during this key trading period, however it doesn’t look like it is enough to stop Santa trading. So although for many of us a Christmas without Santa would be hard to face, is he really complying with the protective measures considered necessary to help slow the spread of the Omicron variant?

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