Finnish Leader’s Night Out After Covid Exposure Causes Furor
(Bloomberg) -- Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has come under heavy media criticism after enjoying a night on the town knowing she had been exposed to the coronavirus.
Marin, 36, is being called out for a lapse of judgment after she failed to return home from the bar on Saturday night upon learning Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto had tested positive for Covid. The two had been in close proximity just a day earlier.
Marin, who is fully vaccinated, said she had not received instructions to isolate, prompting critics to counter that such instructions shouldn’t have to be given to a person in charge of efforts to combat the virus and that the behavior sets an example to the population on how to behave. Marin has since tested negative twice.
The prime minister broke no official rules on isolation, as Finnish authorities do not routinely quarantine fully vaccinated individuals, even though they can still transmit Covid. Still, with the misstep she joins a growing list of policy makers disregarding Covid guidance.
In neighboring Norway, then-Prime Minister Erna Solberg was fined after flouting her own government’s Covid-rules with a party celebrating her 60th birthday earlier this year. Another Nordic leader, Sweden’s then-Premier Stefan Lofven, was caught on a pre-Christmas shopping expedition a year ago without a face mask.
In June, Matt Hancock resigned as the U.K. health secretary after he was caught embracing a senior aide in his office, in breach of the social distancing guidelines he helped to create, and in 2020, Phil Hogan stepped down as European Union trade chief after growing criticism that he broke virus regulations in his native Ireland by attending a golf dinner.
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