Vending machines selling face masks and sanitisers in Poland

Vending machines selling face masks, gloves and sanitisers have have been spotted in the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow as the country steps up plans to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Polish Vending Association is planning to install hundreds more machines across the country in coming weeks with face masks selling at a price of £1.69.

Polish health minister Lukasz Szumowski said all Polish people will be required to cover their mouth and nose in public spaces from today (April 16), as the government extends its lockdown measures.

Aleksander Wasik, head of the Polish Vending Association, which represents vending machine makers and distributors in Poland, said he wanted to make sure that his employees keep their jobs. He used his industry contacts to get the machines up and running to provide what is most needed during a pandemic: protective equipment.

“What happened just now is a massive blow to everyone. Many (vending machine) operators became depressed because they were already seeing the possibility of bankruptcies,” he said.

His solution was to convert vending machines to sell protective equipment — a move which has been applauded by local residents.