WHO's Thompson was noncommittal on the "don't kiss" advice, saying only: "There are different national circumstances that health officials are going to know far better than we will. It's up to them to make that call."
At a news conference announcing the elevated pandemic level, WHO chief Margaret Chan went further, suggesting it was time to rethink the traditional three kisses on the cheek popular in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe. "Perhaps instead of having the traditional three hugs to say hello and welcome your friends, maybe you don't do that anymore," she said. "Don't hold each other and hug their face three times."