Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologized Wednesday night after photos surfaced of her dancing without a mask in a nightclub on Saturday night, a day after she came into contact with a government official who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I did wrong,” he said in a television interview on public broadcaster Yle. “I should have considered the situation more carefully.”
Coronavirus restrictions in Finland, as in many European countries, have evolved and changed in the last two years. Currently, those who are doubly vaccinated, like Ms. Marin, do not need to isolate themselves after coming into contact with someone who tests positive for the virus.
But separate guidelines for ministers and government employees recommend limiting social contact immediately after exposure, according to Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.
When images of Ms Marin at the Helsinki nightclub were released this week, they quickly went viral.
Writing on Facebook, Ms Marin said an official told her that the coronavirus rules did not require her to isolate herself, despite having been in contact with an infected person.
“I should have used better judgment and double-checked the guidance that was given to me,” he wrote. “I’m very sorry I didn’t understand that I had to do that.”
Ms. Marin has not tested positive for the virus.
During the pandemic, Finland had some of the lowest infection rates in Europe. The country, with a population of around 5.5 million, has recorded approximately 196,000 cases of infection and 1,384 deaths, according to Our World in Data.
Ms Marin, now 36, became the world’s youngest acting prime minister when she took office two years ago. She heads a government that is remarkably female and young: the other four main government parties are led by women, three of whom, like the prime minister, are under 40 years old.