Tech cruise ships could implement to combat spread of coronavirus: far-UVC sanitation, contact tracing

USA Today: One technology that could be implemented to disinfect heavy-traffic areas on cruise ships is far-UVC light. Far-UVC light has the capability to scramble the genetic material of viruses such as coronavirus, effectively sanitizing the air, surfaces or even people.


“Ultraviolet light in general has been used to kill bacteria and viruses for a very long time,” David Brenner, director at the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research, told USA TODAY. It’s been known to kill bacteria and viruses for the last century and for the last two to three decades has been used to disinfect surgical theaters or hospital wards.


“It’s being used in the MTA here in New York, in the wee hours between 1 a.m. and 5  a.m. when the MTA is closed down,” he added, referencing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority public transit vehicles and some fixed locations being sanitized with UV light. “It’s been in use to kill viruses and sterilize locations when people aren’t around, which is not ideal because even if you have a sterilized location at 9 o’clock in the morning and people start coming in, they’re potentially gong to contaminate.”

Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?

CNN: Although most governments are still advising against “nonessential” international travel, a host of popular destinations are beginning to ease their Covid-19 lockdown measures and border restrictions and are moving toward welcoming tourists back.


Earlier this month, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed “travel bubbles,” lifting restrictions for each other’s citizens.
A number of Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand are planning to open up again region by region in the coming weeks.
If you’re one of many travelers eagerly awaiting news on where you can travel to this year, here’s a guide to the top destinations making plans to reopen, as well as some of those that are keeping their borders firmly closed for now.

Redesigned buffets will need to convey sense of safety

Cruise Industry News: The cruise ship buffet may never look the same again, according to an industry supplier.


“It will not just be about serving food in a safe way; it will also be about conveying a sensation of safety to the customers,” said Erik Schobesberger, vice president sales modernization at ALMACO, a key supplier of interior, galley and buffet design and installation to the cruise industry.


The company said that buffets will either change drastically or cease to exist, and cruise ship operators will need to figure out easy and cost-efficient temporary solutions in order to be ready for sailing in August.

The necessity of travel advisors in the era of information overload

Travel Pulse: If there’s anything travelers have learned from the Internet, it’s that there’s an obscene amount of information out there regarding travel.


If there’s anything travelers have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the shelf life of information regarding travel on the Internet is remarkably short. Travel restrictions change validity dates, hotels and attractions open and close, and nonstop flights that are available one day suddenly disappear as airlines scramble to rework schedules.

Quotable: I’ll sail again

“It saddens me that those who have enjoyed cruising over the years as well as having forged friendships with members of the modestly-remunerated and hard-working ship crews have been so noticeably silent, failing to support the industry they once loved and likely still do. Pause and remember, too, that the extended families of some of those friends in places like the Philippines have been left destitute from the cruise industry’s crisis.


“It’s true that a disgraced cruise industry is confronted by an enormous task in not only convincing the public to again embrace its product and also populist governments to give it a second chance. Cruising was a safe pastime before the coronavirus and it can become so again. Would I give it a second chance? You bet.”

Anthony Dennis, Traveller

Register for the first ‘Future of Travel’ webinar with Brian Kelly and Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

The Points Guy: The cruise industry has been upended by the coronavirus, but when will ships sail again, and what should guests expect from the experience? Join the founder and CEO of The Points Guy Brian Kelly and Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald as they gaze into the future and answer pressing questions about what cruising might look like in a post-coronavirus world. Whether you’re an infrequent or an avid cruiser, this is a session you don’t want to miss.

Scientists hunt pandemic hotspots in race to test vaccines

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may be waning. For vaccine developers, that could be a problem, Reuters reports.


Scientists in Europe and the United States say the relative success of draconian lockdown and social distancing policies in some areas and countries means virus transmission rates may be at such low levels that there is not enough disease circulating to truly test potential vaccines.