No cruises through October

With coronavirus clusters sprouting aboard ships overseas, the U.S. cruise industry is extending its suspension of operations through October. The Cruise Lines International Association said that if conditions in the U.S. change, it would consider allowing short, modified sailings. A Norwegian cruise line halted all trips and apologized Monday after a coronavirus outbreak on one vessel infected at least five passengers and 36 crew members; health authorities fear the ship may have spread the virus to towns and villages along the coast of Norway. Positive tests were also reported last week on cruise ships in Italy and Tahiti. Between March and July, 2,973 cases of COVID-19 or COVID-like illnesses were reported aboard ships in U.S. waters, according to the CDC.

Associated Press

Southwest reduces cleaning

Southwest Airlines is reducing the amount of cleaning it does between flights, skipping over areas such as seat belts and armrests. After nearly five months of stepped-up cleaning to reassure timid customers about the spread of COVID-19 while flying, Southwest is adjusting its sanitization protocol as it adds more flights back into its schedule. The airline started the new protocols Aug. 1, focusing on lavatories and tray tables between flights and leaving other areas for overnight crews. Southwest said it will continue to undersell planes enough to leave middle seats empty through at least October.

Dallas Morning News

Motels meeting the moment

Motels are getting new respect in the era of social distancing. Guests at open-corridor inns may come and go without passing through crowded lobbies, packed elevators or enclosed hallways where viruses may linger. “In outdoor corridors, people feel safe,” said Mike Riverside of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. “People can go directly to their rooms” and potentially reduce exposure to the coronavirus. Outdoor-facing, low-rise motels and hotels also stand to benefit from being typically reached by car. “There is pent-up demand for leisure travel and nobody is too excited to share an elevator,” said Patrick Scholes, an analyst. “For the moment, it definitely does give you an advantage” to have outdoor corridors in your hotel.

Los Angeles Times