Hundreds of British passengers stuck on a cruise ship due to a Coronavirus outbreak are to be evacuated back to the UK via Cuba.

The MS Braemar is setting sail for Cuba where officials have agreed to accept the ship out of "humanitarian concerns".

Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Office is "working around the clock to arrange evacuation flights from Cuba to the UK".

The ship has been anchored off the Bahamas since last week after five people on the Fred Olsen operated ship tested positive for the deadly virus.

Officials in the Bahamas previously refused to let the ship dock but offered supplies of food and medication.

However, Cuba is now willing to accept the ship in a "shared effort to confront and stop the spread of the pandemic".

The government in Havana reportedly understands the difficult situation the passengers find themselves in.

The Braemar has already been turned away by Barbados and the Bahamas after four passengers and one crew member tested positive.

All five are now in isolation on board the ship.

To date, another 16 passengers and 19 crew members are also in isolation after showing influenza-like symptoms, including a doctor.

Bars and restaurants on the ship remain open, but its "evening entertainment venue" has been closed over health fears.

A spokesperson for Fred Olsen said: "We can confirm that our ship Braemar is now on her way to Cuba where guests will be repatriated back to the UK by air.

"We are working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office towards a Wednesday departure, but details are still being confirmed and this may change.

"We will update our guests as soon as we have more information."

Earlier today, the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) confirmed that flights from Cuba are being planned for passengers aboard Braemar.

An FCO spokesperson said: “We are working around the clock to arrange evacuation flights from Cuba to the UK as soon as possible for passengers on the Braemar cruise ship.

“The evacuation is being co-ordinated with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and we advise that all passengers follow their instructions.

“We continue to update British passengers as the plans progress.”