Finnish PM apologizes for going out after ‘missing’ text telling her to isolate

Finland’s prime minister has apologized for going out until 4 a.m. on the weekend after it was revealed she had received a text telling her to isolate herself.

Sanna Marin, 36, apologized Monday after a tabloid magazine published photos of her visit to a Helsinki nightclub until nearly 4am on Saturday night, hours after her foreign minister Pekka Haavisto tested positive for coronavirus.

‘My husband and I… had been out for dinner, shopping in town, seeing friends and spending time too [enjoying] evening and nightlife,” the Social Democratic leader wrote on Facebook.

‘I should have judged better and double checked the guidance given to me. I’m very sorry that I didn’t understand that I had to do that,” Marin wrote.

She added that an official had told her not to isolate, according to the coronavirus guidelines, despite having been in contact with an infected person.

But she later admitted she missed a text telling her to isolate on a phone she left at home.

The prime minister said she immediately sought a test on Sunday morning upon seeing the text that came back negative, but she has since been criticized for her error of judgement.

‘I should have judged better and double checked the guidance given to me. I am very sorry that I did not understand that I had to do that,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin wrote on Facebook (Marin pictured earlier today with media outside the Finnish parliament building in Helsinki)

Marin, 36, was seen Saturday night out at the Butchers nightclub in Helsinki with friends, but was later revealed to have

Marin, 36, was seen Saturday night out at the Butchers nightclub in Helsinki with friends, but was later revealed to have “missed” a text telling her to isolate herself after her foreign minister tested positive for Covid

Marin was seen on Saturday with friends on a night out at the Butchers nightclub in the Finnish capital, after eating at the Grotesk restaurant, the local newspaper said. Seiska.

The prime minister was seen dancing in the club until 4am, but it was later revealed that she had been in contact with the Covid-positive foreign minister hours before.

A poll commissioned by TV channel MTV3 showed that two-thirds of respondents thought Marin’s night out was a ‘serious mistake’.

Opposition parties also criticized Marin for potentially violating official Covid guidelines and for missing the text message warning her to isolate.

Finance Minister Annika Saarikko of the Center Party, the ruling coalition partner, stopped criticizing Marin directly, but said she was “glad to be home” when she received the text telling her to isolate herself.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin - seen here in 2019 - previously boasted of being a representative of 'the younger generation'

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin – seen here in 2019 – previously boasted of being a representative of ‘the younger generation’

Marin, who became the world’s youngest prime minister upon her appointment in 2019, has previously been the target of criticism at 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 critics with an Instagram post quoting a Finnish pop song that said, “Hey boom-boom-boomer, put some ice in your hat and cool it down.”

‘I am a representative of the younger generation,’ she later told broadcaster Yle, ‘and yes, you can see that in the way I do my job and how I live.’

Finland has contracted some of Europe’s lowest rates of the virus during the pandemic, with just 196,000 cases and 1,384 deaths among the country’s 5.5 million residents.

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

The country’s high vaccination rate – with 72 percent of the population getting double-shots – and the use of a Covid health pass to access some restaurants and nightclubs has been praised for keeping infections low.

The country's high vaccination rate – with 72 percent of the population getting a double shot – and the use of a Covid health pass to access some restaurants and nightclubs have kept infections low

The country’s high vaccination rate – with 72 percent of the population getting a double shot – and the use of a Covid health pass to access some restaurants and nightclubs have kept infections low

She arrived on Saturday just before midnight at the Butchers nightclub in Helsinki with her husband Markus Räikkönen and their friends, where she drank beer and danced.

An eyewitness told a local newspaper: “[Marin] sat down with friends and it seemed fun. I noticed that Sanna was a bit disturbed by people staring.

“At the end of the evening the party surrounded the Prime Minister so that she could be more at ease.”

Current restrictions require people in Finland to show a Covid health pass – for which they have a shot, have tested negative for Covid or have recovered from Covid – to access bars and restaurants.

She arrived at the Butchers nightclub at midnight with her husband Markus Räikkönen and their friends, where she drank Heineken beer and danced

She arrived at the Butchers nightclub at midnight with her husband Markus Räikkönen and their friends, where she drank Heineken beer and danced

Finland also took further measures last week after the government announced it will mandate vaccinations for health and social care workers.

The government also told regional authorities to step up their testing and tracking efforts and recommend telecommuting in areas where the virus is spreading.

Finland is also now requiring all travelers entering the country to have a Covid certificate proving they have been vaccinated to prevent the Omicron variant from spreading.

Those who do not have a valid certificate must pass a Covid-19 test.

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