Just as Halloween ends, Christmas begins, well at least in Southwest Missouri. In many stores, as the spooky candy was sold, Christmas trees went up. At two locations, the Battlefield Mall and Bass Pro Shops, Santa Claus will be arriving in the next few weeks with new regulations in place as a result of COVID-19.
From Nov. 7 to Dec. 24, Santa will be at Bass Pro Shops across the nation, according to the Bass Pro Shops website. In each state, there are different occupancy limits due to COVID-19. However, across the board, Bass Pro Shops has set guidelines to see Santa.
According to the Greene County Health Department, at the time Santa makes his trip down to Springfield, everyone is required to wear a face-covering, per city ordinance until Jan. 9, 2021.
In relation to COVID-19 Bass Pro Shops’ said on its website, this year’s Santa visit experience will be contactless.
“The Magic Santa Shield is an acrylic barrier in place between Santa and families at all times,” Bass Pro Shops website said.
Children will stand on one side of the shield and Santa will be on the other side. They can talk to each other through the glass. While they are standing on each side a picture will be taken. The process can be seen in various photos on the Bass Pro website.
In addition to this, there are five other precautions that are being put in place for safety.
This year, the website indicates that reservations to visit Santa are required to help with local occupancy limits, differing from previous years where walk-ins were welcomed. Reservations can be made on the Bass Pro website. Spots are already filling up. As of Nov. 5, the local Bass Pro was booked its first three weekends open.
To ensure COVID-19 is not brought back to the North Pole, guests and staff will be required to do temperature checks before entering, according to the website. Additionally, employees are required to wear masks and depending on local ordinance customers are required to as well.
A final precaution Bass Pro Shops is taking is sanitizing the acrylic and anything the children touch near Santa between each guest.
Santa will arrive at the Battlefield Mall on Nov. 27, staying until Dec. 24, according to Simon Property Group’s website. Simon properties own the Battlefield Mall.
Similar to the Bass Pro Shops experience, reservations are required to visit Santa at the mall, Simon Property Group’s website said. Additionally, Santa, his helpers and guests will be required to wear masks.