Experiences go online
Airbnb’s “Experiences” normally give travelers unique tours of new cities, exciting group hikes, up-close animal encounters or personal cooking demos. But in the absence of opportunities for in-person contact, Airbnb has drummed up a new idea: Online Experiences. Have you ever wanted to meditate with a Japanese Buddhist monk? Learn how to cook Mexican street tacos with a professional chef? Set fitness goals with an Olympic gold medalist? How about a virtual visit to a goat rescue? For a fun date night, consider “Sangria and Secrets With Drag Queens,” based in Portugal. People from around the world can join these eccentric queens as they demonstrate how to make Portuguese sangria from scratch. Kids can enjoy “Story Time With a Children’s Book Author” or families can gather together for the “Secrets of Magic.”
Masks for both Uber, Lyft
Uber will require all of its drivers and riders worldwide to wear masks over their faces for the foreseeable future, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday. Khosrowshahi made the announcement during a conference call outlining new health and safety steps Uber is taking in order to ease concerns about the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus at a time when state and local governments are beginning to loosen some societal restrictions meant to help contain the outbreak. The mask-wearing requirements will also be applied to Uber Eats delivery drivers, and will go into effect on May 18. All drivers will have to take a picture of themselves with their mask on before they begin driving, and also verify that they aren’t showing any COVID-19 symptoms. Drivers will also have to confirm they have sanitized their cars and agree to drive with their windows down. In addition to wearing masks, riders will have to confirm they have washed or sanitized their hands and agree to only sit in a car’s back seat with open windows for ventilation. Uber’s new safety requirements come after its top rival, Lyft, announced similar measures last week.
Princess cancels cruises
Princess Cruises has scrapped its 2020 summer season because of closed ports and disrupted air travel related to the global coronavirus pandemic, a recent company announcement said. Summer sailings to Alaska and the Caribbean as well as remaining European, transatlantic and Canada/New England itineraries have been canceled. The cruise line in April had canceled Alaska Gulf cruise and land tours, but had hoped to operate round-trip sailings from Seattle to Alaska when cruise operations in the U.S. resume. Now those plans have been scuttled. Cruises from Japan, Taiwan and Australia as well as cruises to Hawaii and French Polynesia through November also are canceled.
Los Angeles Times