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Christmas Eve: Where is Santa Claus? Follow the Norad tracker here | Travel News | Travel

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Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day when Santa Claus delivers presents to boys and girls all over the world. The UK is just one of his stop-off destinations, but, due to the time difference, Santa visits Australasia first. Midnight in Australia and Zealand strikes 13 hours ahead of the UK at this time of year. The NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) Santa Tracker has been following Father Christmas for over 60 years and allows people to see where the red-suited man is throughout Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning.

The popular tool uses technologically-advanced satellites to track Santa Claus as he and his reindeers gallop through the skies. 

The tradition of NORAD tracking Father Christmas started decades ago after a local shop printed an advert that provided a number that could be used to reach Santa.

However, the number was misprinted and was actually the line for NORAD’s (previously CONAD, Continental Air Defense Command) commander-in-chief’s operation hotline.

The NORAD Santa Tracker is immediately distinguishable for its 3D model of Father Christmas and his reindeer that move in real-time.

The software tells users where Santa was last seen in addition to where he is heading next.

Moreover, the software also has a tally for how many gifts Father Christmas has given out.

Last year Santa’s first stop-off was Papua New Guinea where he delivered an astounding 714,813,526 gifts.

He also visited Sydney and Canberra, Australia; Babeldoab, Palau; Japan; South Korea, Brunei; Macau; Malaysia and India, as well as many more.

Father Christmas has yet to leave the North Pole this year and is most likely checking his list twice to see if people have been naughty or nice before he heads out later today with his sack full of goodies.

Santa’s progress can be followed on a computer, smartphone or tablet using NORAD.

Google has also created an app that will follow the progress of Santa and his sleigh throughout the day and night.

Google Santa Tracker is available to download for free on the Google Play Store but can also be used on desktops via the Google Santa Tracker website. 

The application is the perfect way to track the progression of Father Christmas on the go.

The software presents users with a cartoon representation of Santa and will mark the location of places he has already visited.

At the bottom of the screen the app states where Father Christmas currently is in addition to how many gifts he has already delivered.

The app also features a number of games that are perfect for making the wait to Christmas fly by.

Additionally, Google Santa Tracker allows users to make their own elf and decorate them with a troop of accessories.

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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