Santa will ride through Auckland streets as usual on Sunday, brushing aside coronavirus fears.
The city's annual Santa Parade will have just one QR code to cover all sections of the parade, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 people.
Spectators will have to wear masks if they come into town on public transport, but will be free to take their masks off if they choose to while they watch the parade.
Veteran parade organiser Pam Glaser, who is running her 32nd parade, says this year's event has drawn media interest from as far afield as China and Germany because it will be "one of the few Christmas parades happening internationally this year".
"They are delighted that there is some Christmas cheer," she said.
She said QR codes would be stuck on lamp posts throughout the route, which starts at the corner of Vincent St and Mayoral Drive behind the Aotea Centre at 1pm, runs down Queen St and finishes in Customs St East at about 2.30pm.
"We took advice from the Ministry of Health and they said we need one QR code because, for example, if someone views the parade in Mayoral Drive but walks down Queen St to get a bus, their footprint is across the whole parade route," she said.
Auckland University microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles advised adults and teenagers to keep their masks on throughout the event, even though they don't have to.
"Masks will help reduce chances of transmission should somebody be at the parade and be infectious," she said.
"The chances of that are very low, but this is how all of us can minimise the chances of a community outbreak."
The World Health Organisation advises that children under 5 should not have to wear masks, and that the decision to mask up for children aged 6 to 11 depends on factors such as the child's ability to wear the mask safely and whether there is widespread Covid-19 transmission in the area.
The Ministry of Health currently lists only three active cases in the NZ community, all of whom are now in quarantine.
Glaser said Covid had produced an unexpected bonus for Auckland's parade - a giant helium-filled Peppa Pig from Canada, who has never been available before.
"It's been impossible for us to secure her for the parade previously because she has been in all the Thanksgiving parades. Now that they are not taking place, she's free to come to us for the first time," she said.
TVNZ Seven Sharp presenter Hilary Barry, fresh from being voted the nation's favourite TV personality, will lead off the parade, taking the role of Grand Marshal for the first time.
All inner-city roads will be closed between 11am and 5pm.
Free parking will be available in the Downtown and Victoria St parking buildings for vehicles parked before 11am and leaving between 2pm and 6pm.
Public transport is free on weekends for children aged 5 to 15 with registered AT Hop cards.