(22 May 2020) Portsmouth International Port is believed to be the first UK port to install a thermal temperature scanner, which will be available for ferry and cruise operators to screen their passengers.
The temperature screening technology involves using a camera detection system to monitor the temperature of passengers.
In the beginning it will be trialled as an option for foot passengers joining ships to help support infection control onboard. If successful the technology could then be used elsewhere in the port.
Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port’s director 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 ferry and 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.”
The thermal imaging scanner is one a raft of measures being implemented to prioritise health and safety, an overhaul of the how the terminal will function once it reopens for passengers is underway, including appropriate full face PPE for customer facing staff, social distancing measures, clinical level hand sanitation products on door handles and cleaning stations.
Mike 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’re working with our partners in Border Force, Condor Ferries, Brittany Ferries, and also 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 cruise 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 sailing ships, we’re in an ideal position to manage a phased return to sailing, especially with the draw of our city’s attractions.
“We also 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.”
Working with Border Force the port will also support any health measures the government may put in place for passengers coming into the UK.