Finland's prime minister apologizes for clubbing after contact with COVID-19 case

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued an apology this week after she went out clubbing after having been exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

It was reported Saturday that Marin had gone out in public with her husband and a group of friends after she had been in contact with Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Photos of Marin out at the club drew backlash from the public as well as opposition lawmakers who said she had failed to set a good example.

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In a Facebook post made on Monday, which has been translated from Finnish to English, Marin said she had been told that since she is fully vaccinated, no special measures were needed after her potential exposure to COVID-19. However, Marin wrote that she later received further instructions on one of her other phones stating that she should avoid social contact and get tested.

She wrote that she got tested on Sunday and was negative for COVID-19.

As the BBC noted, Finland's guidelines state that people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine do not need to go into quarantine after being exposed, but they do advise that people should avoid social activity while they are awaiting a test.

"I should have used better judgement on Saturday evening and checked the instructions I had received a second time. For not realising that this was not the way to act, I am very sorry," Marin wrote.

The COVID-19 omicron variant was detected in Finland last week, with seven cases confirmed so far, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). It is still not well known how effective coronavirus vaccines are against the variant, though health experts and vaccine developers have hypothesized that three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the strain.

According to the most recent information from the THL, around 87 percent of Finland's population over the age of 12 has is at least partially immunized against COVID-19 and 82 percent is believed to be fully vaccinated.