Today’s Takeaways 7-31-20

Bak to the eastern Med • Boomers lose a year • Baja’s in biz • Carnival Pinnacle — an idea whose time never came • 40% of travel destinations have eased restrictions • What the experts have learned about COID-19 • A world without tourism is a sad place, indeed • Critics pan ‘hygiene theater’ • What’s a new port without cruise ships? Ask Ketchikan • Hurricane Isaias making ships move •

Live from Variety Cruises’ Galileo: The first eastern Mediterranean cruise in COVID era

Cruise Critic: Variety Cruises made a little bit of history when the 49-passenger Galileo set sail Friday from the marina adjacent to the main port at Piraeus in Greece, where the small ship has been docked for four months. Accompanied by the sound of its sister ships’ horns blaring, flares blazing and a small crowd of well-wishers on the quayside — one of which operated a drone to capture the moment — the vessel headed out into the Aegean Sea, becoming the first cruise ship to restart operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tourism restarts: 40% of destinations have now eased travel restrictions

Travel Daily News: The responsible restart of tourism is underway around the world as growing numbers of destinations ease COVID-19 related travel restrictions and adapt to the new reality. According to the latest analysis from the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO), 40% of all destinations worldwide have now eased the restrictions they placed on international tourism in response to COVID-19.

9 things experts have learned about Covid-19 so far

Medium Elemental: The first documented case of Covid-19 in the United States was reported half a year ago, days before early warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a “very serious public health threat” loomed. Yet health officials had only a rough idea of how the novel coronavirus spread, who the disease affected most, and how to best combat transmission and provide treatment. Public messaging on the seriousness of the virus was at times conflicting and confusing, including the early advice not to wear masks. Six months later, scientists have a firm handle on how the virus spreads and what should be done to get the pandemic under control. Here are nine things we know about Covid-19 now that we didn’t know then.

Glaxo, Sanofi to partner on $2 billion Operation Warp Speed coronavirus vaccine contract

CNN: Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur said Friday they had won a commitment from the US federal government to pay up to $2.1 billion to help the two companies move forward with their proposed joint coronavirus vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed. The companies had said in April they would work together to make a vaccine against Covid-19, using Sanofi’s flu vaccine technology and Glaxo’s adjuvant — a compound that boosts the power of a vaccine.

Sleeping lions, terrible pain: A new world without tourism

Associated Press: For growing numbers of businesses and individuals who depend on the global tourism industry, the question is not so much when the coronavirus might take its boot off their throats but whether they’ll still be around when business picks up. In trying to fend off the virus, countries that put up entry barriers to tourists have done so at a mounting and terrible cost to themselves and others. Around the world, travel amid the pandemic is becoming a story of tentative steps forward here, but punishing steps back there, of “yes” to letting back visitors from places faring somewhat better against the coronavirus but not from others where outbreaks are flaring.

European economy shrinks by historic margin: Live business updates

New York Times: The European economy tumbled into its worst recession on record in the second quarter, as quarantines in countries across the continent brought business, trade and consumer spending to a grinding halt. From April to June, gross domestic product fell from the first quarter by 11.9 percent in the 27 member states of the European Union, and by 12.1 percent in countries that use the euro currency, according to figures released on Friday by Eurostat, the bloc’s statistics agency.