Santa’s Lapland today cancelled all December 2020 trips amid concerns that increasing Covid-19 safety measures and travel restrictions “would take too much away from the magic of the experience”.

Instead, families are being offered a 10-minute video call with Father Christmas available for £85 per family including up to four children.

Paul Carter, chief executive of brand parent company Hotelplan UK CEO, said: “It is with great sadness, that we have regretfully made the extremely difficult decision to suspend all trips to Santa’s Lapland in December 2020.

“We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment to our customers, therefore it is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“Despite tremendous efforts by our partners in Finland to find a way to allow travel to Lapland to go ahead this December, there are still a number of conditions in place, which are not easily overcome.

“Above all, we know a trip to see Santa is a once in a lifetime experience and we want to ensure that it’s as magical as our customers expect it to be.

“Over the past few months, we’ve been continually reviewing what the Santa experience will look like for families this year and listening to our customer’s concerns.

“Our top priority has always been to keep everyone safe and in order to do this, we would have to make some changes to the holiday experience. We felt that those changes would impact too much on the magical experience.

“For those customers who have been impacted, we hope they will choose to join us next year to visit Santa and his Elves, but if not, and they wish to receive a refund, we will arrange this instead.”

Santa’s Lapland put its 2021 Christmas holidays on sale earlier this month.