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Portsmouth leads the way in Covid-19 readiness

Andrew Williamson

Portsmouth International Port has become one of the first in the UK, recognised by independent assessors, for its new protocols to manage and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections.

Last week DNV GL, one of the world’s leading certification bodies, carried out a MyCare assessment. The My Care™ framework has been developed to help companies demonstrate that they have adopted effective infection prevention measures, as services begin to resume after lockdown.

Portsmouth is a major transport hub, with passenger sailings now operating again between France and Spain, and its continued role as a lifeline route for the Channel Islands. The port had to quickly adopt government safety measures to protect both staff and customers.

Andrew Williamson, passenger operations manager at Portsmouth International Port said: “Our aim was to give passengers confidence that the new preventative measures we have put into place are of the highest standard, and to highlight the benefits of international travel by sea. This verification from DNV GL provides further reassurance about the efforts we are taking to keep them safe.

The whole port has worked together to make sure we can carry operations with the highest level of care.”

Along with a newly installed thermal imaging scanner to check the temperature of staff and available for customers too, the terminal has also been reconfigured into a one-way flow system with reduced capacity and space for social distancing. Face coverings have become mandatory for anyone travelling through the terminal, and cleaning practices have been enhanced through investments in the latest technologies.

DNV GL, who undertook the assessment last week, is the leading independent expert for risk management and quality assurance.

Aileen Orr, UK Healthcare Lead in DNV GL, said: “The port demonstrated evidence of a well‐considered approach to managing infection risk, with alignment to the latest international, local guidelines and relevant industry bodies. This demonstrates the Port’s willingness to take the necessary steps to make their passengers’ journey as safe and comfortable as possible.”

This assessment adds to a number of recognitions for the port in the last year, including being named the International Quality Organisation of the year by the Chartered Quality Institute.