Passenger thermal temperature scanner installed at Portsmouth International Port in bid to reduce coronavirus infections

PASSENGERS boarding ships at Portsmouth port may have to go through a thermal body scanner first in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

By Ben Fishwick
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 9:42 am
Portsmouth International Port. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Portsmouth International Port. Picture: Habibur Rahman

In what is thought to be a first in Britain, the city council-owned port has installed a scanner using a camera monitoring detection system to check on people's temperatures.

A high fever is among the coronavirus symptoms listed by NHS England.

Currently there is no international standard for checking passengers but port bosses brought in the scanner so as to be ready if it is needed.

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Foot passengers will be the first to use this, followed by others in the port if required.

Port director Mike Sellers 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.’

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The terminal is currently closed. A review has led to an overhaul of health and safety measures including PPE for customer-facing staff.

Mr Sellers added: ‘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.’

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