Portsmouth International Port has become the first UK port to install a thermal temperature scanner, designed for cruise operators to screen passengers.
Claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the thermal scanning device uses a camera detection system to monitor the temperature of passengers as part of new protocols designed to support infection control aboard cruise ships when sailings resume later this year. Is it one of several health and safety measures planned for introduction once the port reopens.
Mike Sellers, director of Portsmouth International Ports, said: “We want to make sure we’re in the best position to welcome back passengers in a managed, safe and sensible way.”
“Being able to help support our cruise lines by providing solutions for potential health protocols, should operators choose to use it for their customers, means we’re ready to go once travel restrictions are eased.
“There are ongoing discussions about a common framework for health screenings, which are being explored by all transport operators.
“Until there is an international standard we want to make sure we can meet a universal expectation to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.”
Sellers continued: “Our key workers continued to operate since the lockdown restrictions were implemented providing essential operations for critical freight and lifeline services. It is even more important as a major port we have the right measures in place to manage the flow of people as well as goods safely.
“We’ve been listening to our cruise customers about what needs to be in place when travel restrictions are eased.
“Even if overseas travel is delayed, UK based itineraries will still be popular as the public look to find a way to have a break locally. As a port suited to small medium-sized, boutique ships, we’re in an ideal position to manage a phased return to sailing, especially with the draw of our city’s attractions.
“We support the idea for sea bridges to help encourage safe travel. As a method of transport ships provide outside space, room to move around indoors, and lend themselves to social distancing measures.”
Portsmouth International Ports is likely to be the first of many UK cruise ports to introduce escalated boarding procedures following the Coronavirus pandemic, with other suggested measures ranging from appropriate full-face PPE for customer-facing staff and social distancing measures, to clinical level hand sanitation products on door handles and cleaning stations.