A TEMPERATURE screening system and fogging machine are among the measures that will be used when cruise ships start to arrive at Port of Poole.

Cruise officials have introduced a raft of new health and safety measures to help make its land and sea operations as Covid-secure as possible.

The port’s current Covid-safe processes with its ferry partners - which have passed four audits with the Health and Safety Executive since August 2020 - are being extended to cruise lines and their passengers as the UK cruise season approaches.

Poole’s cruise terminal has recently been refurbished and is dedicated solely to passengers and crew members. It has been reconfigured to support social distancing measures, including providing an enhanced layout and hand sanitising stations via a new one-way system.

A new temperature screening system, that will help identify passengers with an increased temperature - which is one of the indicators associated with Covid-19 - has also been installed.

It calculates core body temperatures through a rapid test procedure that lasts less than two seconds. Cleaning practices have been improved through investment in new technology such as fogging machines.

Further measures will be carried out by the port team when vessels dock, such as working closely with cruise lines to ensure the safe and Covid-compliant transfer of passengers, including reducing the number on transfers to maintain social distancing.

The port is working alongside the British Ports Association, the UK Chamber of Shipping, Cruise Britain, and other cruise partners to ensure its safety and wellbeing protocols are in line with Government guidelines.

A number of cruise ships will dock at the port this summer, with the full schedule set to be announced shortly.

Captain Brian Murphy, Marine and Port Director and Harbour Master, said: “We’ve been working closely with our partners and stakeholder to ensure the port is ready, willing, and able to welcome back passengers in a safe and manageable way.

“The safety of guests, crew members and our staff are our top priority, so that cruising can start once again with confidence when the time is right.

“We are proud to have invested in industry-leading safety facilities and measures, and look forward to showcasing everything Poole has to offer to both cruise lines and passengers alike when the cruises season begins this summer.”