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Nobel Prize ceremonies to be curtailed for second year in a row due to pandemic

STOCKHOLM — The Nobel Prize ceremonies will be reined in and scaled-down for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation behind the coveted prizes says.

The winners of this year’s prizes in chemistry, literature, physics, medicine and economics, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize, are set to be announced between October 4 and October 11.

“It is now also clear that this year’s Nobel festivities in December − when the laureates are honored in Stockholm and Oslo − will be a mixture of digital and physical events,” the Nobel Foundation says.

The laureates will receive their Nobel Prize medals and diplomas in their home countries, the foundation says. It says that the presentation events will be woven together with an awards ceremony at Stockholm City Hall on December 10, which is the anniversary of the death of prize founder Albert Nobel. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, because Nobel wanted it that way for reasons he kept to himself.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is keeping open the possibility of welcoming the Nobel Peace Prize winner or winners to Oslo, the foundation says. The committee plans to announce the format of its festivities in mid-October.

“I think everybody would like the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, but we are not there yet,” Nobel Foundation Executive Director Vidar Helgesen says in a statement. “Uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and international travel possibilities is the reason why the 2021 laureates will receive their medals and diplomas in their home countries.”

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