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Tech Is Making Travel Safer During the Pandemic

A lot of people now work from home, thanks to COVID-19, but not everyone has that luxury. Whether you’re a remote worker who needs to travel or have a meeting you can’t miss, you may need to take a trip. With the pandemic still raging, that can be a cause for concern.

Thankfully, technology is helping travelers and travel companies alike make this a safer option for everyone. Like any other industry, airlines and hotels have had to adjust, and tech is helping them do that. Some of the best coronavirus travel advice you can take to heart is to take advantage of this technology.

Tech for Travel Companies

It should come as no surprise that the travel industry has taken a hit because of COVID-19. The U.S. Travel Association predicts that losses will total $505 billion by the end of 2020. To save the industry and keep people safe, travel companies are adopting a range of hi-tech tools.

Organizations like Singapore Mass Rapid Transport and Dubai’s Transportation Security Department invested in temperature-sensing glasses this Spring. With these tools, airports and other transportation facilities can pinpoint people who may carry the virus. They can then administer tests to or isolate these individuals, keeping everyone else safe.

The Novotel Ambassador Dongdaemun Hotels and Residences introduced a room service robot in July. The AI-powered robot can respond to voice commands and bring visitors food and other items. That way, the hotels can minimize contact between residents and staff.

Touchless medical diagnosis kiosks and UV sanitation devices are among some of the other safe travel tech out there. While specific approaches vary, the general concept is the same across countries and companies: use technology to minimize contact and keep things clean.

Tech for Travelers

Airports and hotels aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of new travel tech. If you have to travel for your remote work, you can use some handy tools to help you stay safe. You don’t need anything fancy, either, as your smartphone may be all you need.

There’s an abundance of COVID-19 trackers available on both Android and iOS phones. You can use these to look at coronavirus rates in different areas to see if you need to take any extra precautions or not. Travel apps can help you reschedule or cancel any flights if you need to adjust to any changes.

Apple and Google have teamed up to create a contact-tracing platform that some areas are already using. Using location data, the system notifies users when they might have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Similar technology helped countries like South Korea contain the virus quickly.

Balancing Safety and Privacy

With all of this technology comes a fair share of controversy. While some people are excited about the health opportunities they present, others worry that some of it puts privacy at risk. Tech like smartphone contact tracing and wearable temperature sensors may get in the way of privacy.

When you travel, experts typically advise to avoid giving away personal information for your safety. Some coronavirus travel advice is saying that you should be open about this information, though.

Others argue that some of these technologies do more harm than good by denying travelers the right to privacy. Not all travel tech is a matter of privacy, though; things like traditional thermometers, contactless service and digital communication provide help without putting your personal info at risk.

COVID-19 Tarnishes Travel, But Technology Is Helping

Remote work travel in the middle of a pandemic can be an intimidating prospect. Thanks to modern technology, though, it’s not nearly as hazardous to your health as it could be. Some new travel tech may be controversial, but overall, it’s helping make cornavirus travel safe.

 

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August 18, 2020
By Shannon Flynn

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