The cruise industry is making waves to ensure passengers stay from the coronavirus and future viruses.
The financially battered cruise lines are hoping to return to the seas this summer. In order to do this, industry experts are eyeing two forms of innovate measures that will help keep the ships clean and disinfected while tracking passengers to reduce the potential for infection.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a no-sail order in place until July 24, many lines plan to resume operations sooner.
USA Today said cruise ships have been at the epicenter of the pandemic nightmare with passengers and crews trapped aboard quarantined vessels for weeks. They need to making sweeping changes in hygiene and safety to regain the trust of potential travelers.
According to Fox News, the use of UVC lights to sterilize places — and even people — might be implemented. They would most likely be installed in high traffic areas and elevators. Another form of technology that will help identify where passengers are congregating is a tracking device that collects data from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals. If there are too many people in one area, the crew may encourage them to disperse.
"If a certain deck is turning yellow to red, maybe someone needs to go make sure it's not too crowded," Nadir Ali, the CEO of Inpixon, an indoor data intelligence company who is working with cruise lines, told USA Today.
In the meantime, both Apple and Google are releasing coronavirus tracking applications that can alert people anonymously if they are near an infected person. Once a person tests positive, they enter the information into the app, and anyone who has been near that person over the past 14 days will get notified.
Even though the technology keeps the information anonymous, 3 out of 5 Americans said they were uncomfortable with the concept, according to USA Today. If this technology is embraced, it is yet another way cruise ships can identify and isolate potentially infectious passengers.
Some cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, might eliminate their signature buffet dining when cruising resumes, according to Fox News, in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
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