Tedros told a virtual press conference that no country can just pretend the pandemic is over.
"No country can just pretend the pandemic is over. The reality is that this coronavirus spreads easily. It can be fatal to people of all ages, and most people remain susceptible. If countries are serious about opening up, they must be serious about suppressing transmission and saving lives," he said.
This may seem like an impossible balance, but it's not, it can be done, and it has been done, Tedros said, adding that it can only be done if countries are in control of transmission.
"The more control countries have over the virus, the more they can open up. Opening up without having control is a recipe for disaster," said the WHO chief.
Tedros stressed that there are four essential things that need to be done — prevent amplifying events; prevent deaths by protecting vulnerable people; individuals must play their part by wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands frequently; governments must take tailored actions to find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine contacts.
According to Tedros, decisions about how and when to allow gatherings of people must be taken with a risk-based approach and in the local context.