Despite rising coronavirus metrics, Macy's Walnut Room is still expected to return this holiday season, but Chicago's store will be missing a key figure: Santa Claus.
Macy's announced Thursday that Santa will not be greeting kids at its Chicago store this year due to the coronavirus.
“Moving to a virtual engagement will safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year," Macy's said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Santa also will not be visiting for the holidays at Macy's New York or San Francisco stores, but will appear in the televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, the company said.
Macy's announced Monday that the historic Walnut Room will reopen Nov. 7 under new guidelines, with the 113th annual "Great Tree" up again for the holidays.
To maintain social distancing, Macy's said they will require customers to make a reservation, which became available Oct. 9 on Open Table.
“We’ve reimagined the Walnut Room experience while maintaining holiday traditions near and dear to the heart of generations of Chicagoans—from the beloved items on the menu to new ways to capture a memory in front of the Great tree or make a wish with the Fairy Princess,” Macy’s on State Street Store Manager Matt Sarosy said,. “We are committed to providing the quality experience our customers expect as well as providing a safe and healthy dining experience, following the Centers for Disease Control and local guidelines. The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority.”
Macy's explained that only customers dining in the Walnut Room will have access to the "Great Tree" this year, with all patrons receiving a complementary photo.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines, Macy's said employees will "enhance cleaning" in congested areas and hard surfaces. Macy's requires all employees and customers to wear a mask and social distance while in the Walnut Room.