Wearing masks outside will be compulsory across the whole of Poland from October 10 and restrictions for schools may have to be tightened, the prime minister says after the country registered another record daily spike in new coronavirus cases.
Poland does not rule out introducing a state of emergency if cases continue to grow, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.
Daily coronavirus cases jumped more than 40 per cent on Thursday compared to the previous day.
While authorities have sought to reassure the public that hospitals can cope, doctors have warned the system could soon face serious difficulties.
"We have to slow the growth of this in the entire country... we are today a few steps away from a lack of beds and respirators," Morawiecki told a news conference.
He said mandatory mask-wearing outdoors was the only way to avoid another total lockdown.
"We can't waste the good progress we've made in the last seven months," he said.
Morawiecki, speaking without a mask, said restrictions for schools may have to be tightened and the government would make an announcement on Saturday.
Poland reported a new record of 4280 daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, the Health Ministry said, up from the 3003 reported on Wednesday.
It also reported 76 coronavirus-related deaths, a new record.
In total, the country of 38 million has reported 111,599 cases of the coronavirus and 2867 deaths.