Portsmouth International Port is the first UK port to install a thermal scanner so passengers can be screened for Covid-19 symptoms.
The temperature screening technology includes a camera detection system to monitor the temperature of passengers.
The system, which has an accuracy of +/- 0.2 degrees, will be tested as an option for foot passengers joining ships to support infection control for ships using the port.
It is intended to inform a ship’s medical team so that they can decide whether to allow the passenger to board.
The machine is currently not expected to be used to screen passengers arriving in the UK, but a port spokesperson said the machine could be used on arrival if required by the government.
Port director Mike Sellers said, “We want to ensure that we are in the best position to welcome passengers in a managed, safe and sensible manner.
“If we can help support our ferry and cruise lines by providing solutions to potential health protocols, if operators choose to use them for their customers, it means we are ready to go once the travel restrictions are relaxed.
“There are ongoing discussions about a common framework for health screenings, which are examined by all carriers.
“Until there is an international standard, we want to make sure that we can meet the universal expectation to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.”
The technology is being prepared for passenger restart as the port currently only handles freight sailings.
But the port is optimistic that domestic cruise sailings will be in demand, even if international voyages are halted by the virus for an extended period of time.
Mr Sellers said: “Even if trips abroad are delayed, cruise schedules in the UK will still be popular as the public is looking for a way to take a break locally.
“As a port suitable for small, medium-sized sailboats, we are ideally placed to enable a phased return to sailing, especially with the appeal of our city’s attractions.
“We also support the idea of sea bridges to encourage safe travel. As a means of transport, ships offer outdoor space, room to move indoors and are suitable for social distance measures. ”
Other security measures introduced in the port include personal protective equipment for customer-oriented personnel, social distance measures, clinical level hand sanitisation for door handles and cleaning stations.