Norway gives quarantine exemption to 2020 Nobel winners

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Norwegian government has granted an exemption from its two-week quarantine requirement for arriving visitors so representatives from the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize – the World Food Program – can attend the Dec. 10 award ceremony in Oslo.

“The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize is an important event of great national and international interest,” Norwegian Health Minister Bent Hoeie said Tuesday. “We want to make it easy for the prize winner to be physically present this year as well. It is important that the event is carried out in a good infection-control manner.”

The government’s decision came at the recommendation of Norway’s Directorate of Health and National Institute of Public Health, which “consider that the risk of infection is very small” from granting the quarantine waiver, Hoeie said.

The World Food Program, which won the 2020 peace prize for efforts to combat hunger, will send a delegation that is “as small as possible, an estimated 15-20 people,” to accept the award, he said.

Hoeie said visitors also are eligible for quarantine exemptions “when they have taken one negative test in Norway. This means that the persons have full entry quarantine until they have received one negative test result. When the negative test result is available, the person in question is exempt from the entry quarantine.”

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony usually is held at Oslo City Hall. Next month’s event will be a scaled-down affair held at the city’s university because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with enormous prestige, the prize comes with a 10-milion krona ($1.1 million) cash award and a gold medal to be handed out, It is held on the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death. .

The traditional banquet and concert held after the award ceremony, and the ceremonies the same week in Stockholm where the other Nobel Prizes will be awarded, have been canceled.

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