COVID-19: Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologises for going clubbing after coronavirus exposure

Finland’s prime minister has apologised for going out clubbing just hours after being exposed to COVID-19.

Sanna Marin, 36, went on a night out in the capital Helsinki on 4 December after the foreign minister tested positive, having initially been told she did not need to isolate because she is fully vaccinated.

But she was then advised by text that she should self-isolate – only to miss the message because she’d left her work phone at home.

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Ms Marin saw the text the following day, Sunday 5 December, and took a test, which came back negative, but critics have questioned her judgment for not isolating.

She defended her actions at first, arguing she followed advice from the secretary of state, who told her about her exposure to the virus.

But she has since said in a Facebook post that she should have double-checked the guidance, writing: “I should have used better consideration on Saturday night and checked the instruction I got another time.

“I’m really sorry that I didn’t understand how to do this.”

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Ms Marin added that she was at a restaurant when she received a phone call from her state secretary informing her about the exposure.

“He said ministers would not be quarantined because they all have been vaccinated twice,” she added.

The PM’s office later said it had sent the exposed ministers two text messages on Saturday recommending that they avoid contact with other people.

But Ms Marin had left her official phone at home and instead relied on aides reaching her on her personal number.

Her statement came after a photo of her on her night out was published by a Finnish gossip magazine.

Finland’s COVID guidelines and other ministers in hot water

Under guidelines in Finland, anyone who is double jabbed does not need to isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case, but people are advised to voluntarily avoid social contact until a negative coronavirus test.

Other ministers who came into contact with Mr Haavisto have been criticised for not isolating.

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Economic affairs minister Mika Lintila attended a floorball match between Finland and Latvia on Sunday despite being advised to avoid contact with others, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Defence minister Antti Kaikkonen went to a dinner party on Saturday, whereas finance minister Annika Saarikko and culture minister Antti Kurvinen cancelled their attendance to avoid contacts, according to newspaper Ilta-Sanomat.

All three ministers were exposed on Friday at a meeting attended by Mr Haavisto.

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