Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been fined £1,700 for breaking the country’s Covid-19 restrictions to celebrate her 60th birthday, police have said.
Solberg gathered members of her family in the ski resort town of Geilo at the end of February in breach of restrictions limiting social interactions, public broadcaster NRK revealed on Thursday.
The country’s current rules limit the number of people attending a private event in a public space to ten.
It is thought that 13 members of Solberg’s family dined at a restaurant on February 25 – but that the Prime Minister was not present because she had to go to hospital with eye problems.
The next day Solberg and her relatives violated another recommendation by having 14 people, four more than the limit, eating sushi in her flat.
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg (pictured during the trip to the ski resort) was investigated after she and her family broke the country’s Covid-19 restrictions to celebrate her 60th birthday
The reports that Solberg breached the restrictions immediately sparked a furore on social media with some calling for her resignation.
‘If the PRIME MINISTER, with hordes of advisors, can’t figure out the rules, it’s TOTALLY UNREASONABLE to expect the average person to do so,’ one user on Twitter railed.
At the time, police released a statement that read: ‘Against the background of information that has surfaced through the press, together with the prime minister’s own statements, police have decided to initiate an investigation tied to a potential breach of the infectious disease regulation.
‘The matter will then be evaluated by the prosecution authority in reference to a potential legal sanction.’
Solberg gathered members of her family in the ski resort town of Geilo (stock image) at the end of February in breach of restrictions limiting social interactions
The reports that 60-year-old Solberg (pictured) breached the restrictions immediately sparked a furore on social media with some calling for her resignation
Solberg issued an apology on her Facebook page.
In a post, published on March 18, she wrote: ‘I am sorry that my family and I have broken the corona regulations, that should never have happened.
‘We of course should have followed all the recommendations, as I have asked you to do.
She added: ‘I’m especially thinking of all those who have had to cancel things they have looked forward to, a birthday with classmates, a celebration with friends or anything else that is important.
‘I understand those who get angry and disappointed over this. I have made a mistake and for that I want to say I’m sorry.’
In addition to the legal consequences, the outing could also have ramifications for the head of government’s political career as the country heads into planned elections in September.