Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologised on Wednesday to the public for having been to one of the Helsinki’s nightclubs at night from Saturday to Sunday, breaching the country’s anti-epidemic laws. A similar scandal is taking place in the UK where PM Boris Johnson apologised on Wednesday after a video surfaced showing his staff laughing and joking about a gathering in Downing Street during a Christmas COVID-19 lockdown last year when such festivities were banned.
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“I was wrong. I should have assessed the situation more carefully,” Ms Marin told the Finnish public broadcaster Yle.
The information, initially released over the weekend by a Finnish celebrity gossip website, has grown into a nationwide scandal that has been widely reported in all the country’s newspapers.
On Saturday, when Ms Marin went to the nightclub, information about the need to avoid social contact was sent to members of the government on business phones due to the confirmation of COVID-19 infection in Pekka Haavisto, the head of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms Marin, as she herself admitted, did not read the message until Sunday morning.
A similar scandal is currently taking place in the UK where PM Boris Johnson apologised on Wednesday after a video surfaced showing his staff laughing and joking about a gathering in Downing Street during a Christmas COVID-19 lockdown last year when such festivities were banned.
He said he had been furious to see the clip and that, since allegations emerged in the media, he had been repeatedly assured that there had not been a party.
“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives,” he told parliament, adding that there would be disciplinary action if it were found that rules were broken.
At the time of the Downing Street gathering, tens of millions of people across Britain were banned from meeting close family and friends for a traditional Christmas celebration – or even from bidding farewell to dying relatives.