Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologized this week for going out to a nightclub in Helsinki over the weekend after her foreign affairs minister tested positive for COVID-19.
The 36-year-old said she spent time with her husband, went to dinner, saw friends and “spent time in the evening and night life as well.”
On Saturday night, her secretary of state called her with the news that Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto tested positive for COVID-19.
In Finland, individuals who are fully vaccinated aren’t required to quarantine, so she went about her evening and left her work phone at home.
It wasn’t until Sunday that she realized she had received additional instructions on her work phone to avoid contact with other people and get tested for COVID-19.
“I should have used better consideration on Saturday night,” Marin wrote on Facebook. “I’m really sorry.”
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Finnish tabloid Seiska published photos and talked to revelers who saw Marin in the nightclub Butchers around 3:00 a.m. in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Marin told the Finnish television station Yle on Wednesday that she tested negative on Sunday and Monday, and understands why public officials need stricter guidelines than citizens.
Finland’s ruling Social Democratic Party council tapped Marin to be the prime minister in December 2019, making her the youngest head of government in the country’s history at just 34-years-old.
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Other Nordic leaders have also caught the ire of their citizenry for flouting COVID-19 rules.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg was fined 20,000 Norwegian crowns, or about $2,250, for hosting a 13-person birthday party in February, despite a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people at the time, according to Reuters.
A senior Swedish official, Dan Eliasson, resigned earlier this year after he traveled to the Canary Islands to visit his daughter.
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In the United States, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited a hair salon last year even though indoor appointments were banned at the time.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also came under fire last year after eating out at the French Laundry, a fine-dining restaurant in Napa Valley, despite his state’s stringent lockdown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.