Finnish PM apologizes for staying in the club despite exposure to Covid

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The Prime Minister of Finland has been the subject of sustained criticism after it was revealed that she had remained outside until the early hours of the weekend, despite knowing she had been exposed to Covid-19 .

Sanna Marin, 36, apologized on Monday after a gossip magazine posted photos of her at a Helsinki nightclub on Saturday night until nearly four a.m., hours after her Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“My husband and I… had gone out to eat, were shopping in town, had seen friends and had also spent time. [enjoying] evening and nightlife, ”the Social Democratic leader wrote on Facebook.

She said an official told her coronavirus guidelines do not require her to self-isolate, despite having come into contact with an infected person.

“I should have used better judgment and rechecked the advice that was given to me. I’m so sorry I didn’t understand I had to do this, ”Marin wrote.

In a poll commissioned by the MTV3 TV channel, two-thirds of those polled said Marin’s night was a “big mistake.”

Opposition parties criticized Marin for potentially violating official Covid guidelines and for missing a subsequent text warning him to self-isolate.

Finance Minister Annika Saarikko of the Center Party, a partner in the ruling coalition, did not directly criticize Marin.

However, she told the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that she was “glad to be home” when she received a text message to isolate herself, and she canceled her plans for the next day.

Finland has suffered some of the lowest virus incidences in Europe throughout the pandemic, recording more than 196,000 cases and 1,384 deaths in the country of 5.5 million people.

However, infections are now at an all time high, with 308 new cases per 100,000 people in the past fifteen weeks. The country has registered eight cases of the new Omicron variant.

Marin, who became the world’s youngest prime minister when she was appointed in 2019, has previously been the target of criticism of parties at her official residence and social media posts in which she poses with friends or appears to promote. fashion accessories.

In October, she responded to the reviews with an Instagram post citing a Finnish pop song that read, “Hey boom-boom-boom, put some ice cream in your hat and chill it. “

She then told broadcaster Yle, “I’m a representative of the younger generation, and yes, that is reflected in the way I do my job and the way I live. “

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