Santa has been accused of being a Covid ‘superspreader’ after outbreak at care home

SANTA has been accused of being a Covid ‘superspreader’ after an outbreak at a Belgian care home has left around 75 people testing positive for the virus following his festive visit.

Jolly ol’ St. Nic appears to have brought more than just Christmas cheer this year after it was reported on Sunday, December 13, that residents at the Hemelrijck residential home tested positive for COVID-19, according to authorities in Mol, Antwerp.

The mayor of Mol Wim Caeyers told Flemish broadcaster VRT the visit was “made with the best intent, but it went wrong”.

He added: “It has been a very black day for the care home.

“It is a very great mental strain to bear for the man that played St Nicholas, as well as for the organisers and the staff.”

Authorities began testing residents in the home after being made aware of a potential outbreak after the man playing the famous fictional fellow fell ill and tested positive for COVID.

Jannes Verheyen, a spokesperson for Armonea, the firm which runs the home, told The Brussels Times: “The team is very shocked by what happened, but that also makes them very motivated to get the virus out again.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at