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Kent ferries to operate new safety measures

People have been given a glimpse into what life on ferries will be like after lockdown after companies revealed their new coronavirus safety measures today.

Ferry companies are hoping the display will reassure potential customers ahead of any future relaxation of travel restrictions.

A spokesman for industry body Discover Ferries, which represents Dover company P&O Ferries, said: "The UK ferry industry is well placed for social distancing measures, with wide-open public spaces, access to fresh air and outside deck areas, as well as the option in many cases to arrive and board via the safety of your own car.

"Ferry operators have also implemented strict hygiene, social distancing and other Covid-19 compliant measures to ensure passengers can travel in safety and comfort once restrictions are lifted."

Among the new measures will be a rule that will see passengers required to wear face coverings on all ferry services operating across England.

Other features include a reduction in capacity to help comply with social distancing measures, which will be enforced by signs across ships.

There will also be more frequent cleaning with a focus on busy areas, as well as new protocols for staff, who will have PPE available if required.

P&O Ferries have revealed their new coronavirus safety measures. Picture: Barry Goodwin
P&O Ferries have revealed their new coronavirus safety measures. Picture: Barry Goodwin

As with other travel companies across the UK, ferry firms operating from Kent are desperate to start commercial services as soon as is safe.

Dover firm P&O Ferries is one such firm that are anxiously awaiting news as travel restrictions continue to bite into revenue.

The shipping giant has been forced to cut more than 1,000 jobs, including 614 in the port town.

A demonstration to protest the cuts was planned for today, but has since been suspended.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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