Vacant cruise ships could be turned in to floating hospitals for patients suffering with coronavirus if Covid-19 begins to take a heavy toll on the NHS.
Holiday company Saga has offered up two vessels to the health service to use in the event it is overwhelmed by the virus.
Spirit of Discovery and Saga Sapphire are currently anchored at Tilbury Docks after the Kent-based company suspended future journeys last week.
Saga Sapphire has the capacity to carry up to 720 guests, whereas Spirit of discovery could accommodate 999 people.
No decision has been made as to whether the ships will be used by the NHS but as Boris Johnson has said, the government will consider all options.
The offer follows advice from the government urging those over 70 not to go on cruises, or travel abroad.
The NHS has already experienced a lack of ICU beds in one London hospital, following a cluster of cases in the capital.
Northwick Park in Harrow declared a “critical incident” on Friday and has since transferred patients to neighbouring hospitals.
It comes after a tumultuous month for cruise liners across the globe, after multiple ship were reported stranded at sea during the early stage of the outbreak.
Diamond Princess, not owned by Saga, was one of the first ships to be plunged into turmoil after the British flagged ship arrived in Japan with a suspected coronavirus case on February 3rd.
Since then, over 600 of the 3,700 passengers, including crew, on board have tested positive for the virus.
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The Government is planning to rent eight thousand private hospital beds to relieve pressure on the NHS.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also previously described hotels as "ready-built facilities for looking after people,” if extra beds are required.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced a number of cruise lines to temporarily suspend a number of sailings throughout March and April.
Princess Cruises, Saga and Viking Cruises have all been forced to suspend all cruise operations, while Virgin Voyages has delayed the launch of its first cruise ship Scarlet Lady.
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