Coronavirus: Harry Potter buses used as free NHS transport

Image source, Warner Bros
Image caption,
The buses will carry NHS staff within social distancing guidelines - instead of the usual tourists

Harry Potter-branded buses normally used to take fans to film studio tours are being offered as free transport for staff working in the NHS.

The buses will take them between three sites in Hertfordshire, and will have on-board social distancing rules.

Warner Bros and coach company Golden Tours have had to cancel all trips to the Leavesden studios where much of the Harry Potter filming took place.

The NHS said the move was a "wizard idea".

"Our workforce has been depleted due to sickness or self-isolation and so it's really important that those staff who are well, but have transport issues, can come back," Paul da Gama, from the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, said.

'Days in'

He said the shuttle bus service between hospital sites was the "perfect solution".

Image source, Warner Bros
Image caption,
The buses usually take tourists to the studios, which feature various sets from the Harry Potter films

Mikesh Palan, who manages the coach company, said as people begin to "enjoy days in and not days out", he was "delighted" to offer his buses to the NHS key workers.

Image source, West Herts NHS
Image caption,
The buses have been repurposed to carry NHS workers

The buses, brightly decorated with scenes from the making of the Harry Potter films, will be used to take staff between the NHS trust's Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals between about 06:00 and 22:30.

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