HALIFAX -- Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, and reindeer have all been granted "essential worker status" by Prince Edward Island’s top doctor.

Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced during a news conference Tuesday that there is "no COVID-19 in the North Pole," and Santa Claus and his entourage will be allowed to visit P.E.I. this Christmas.

“Now that it’s December, I know children and their families are anxiously awaiting to see if their special elf is going to appear,” said Morrison. “I received a special alert this morning to tell me there is no COVID-19 in the North Pole. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer are all safe and healthy.”

Morrison added Santa is reminding elves to observe physical distancing measures, and wash their hands often. 

“They know that COVID-19 has been very hard for children and families around the world, and pre-approved travel has been received for Santa and his elves to come to P.E.I.,” said Morrison. “Your special elf, and everyone else in the North Pole, are protected from getting sick from COVID-19.”

The message came at the end of Tuesday’s news conference, when P.E.I. announced no new cases of COVID-19 on the island, and four remaining active cases.

Morrison cautioned Islanders against any non-essential travel over the holidays.

“I urge Islanders to not travel off-island over the holidays,” said Morrison. “I urge families, including students who live off-island, to consider not coming home for the holidays – and that’s hard to say.”

She added that official holiday guidelines will be released from the P.E.I. government by the end of the week.