Poland makes wearing masks outside compulsory as coronavirus cases climb

FILE PHOTO: A student of the Medical University in Gdansk, wears a protective face mask during the opening of the first in Poland cost free mobile walk-thru test center for collecting swab samples for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the University of Gdansk, in Gdansk, Poland. May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jadwiga Figula

WARSAW (Reuters) - Wearing masks outside will be compulsory across the whole of Poland from Oct. 10, the Prime Minister said on Thursday, as the country grapples with a sharp spike in coronavirus cases.

The country is some steps away from having a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients, Mateusz Morawiecki added at a news conference.

However, Morawiecki said that the country will still aim to avoid a total lockdown in an effort to shield the economy.

Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz and Agnieszka Barteczko, Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Toby Chopra