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Hoshinoya smartphone app monitors onsen crowd size

Filed by Lucire staff/July 1, 2020/10.59


Karuizawa, one of the 15 resorts where the new app is first deployed

In response to the coronavirus, Hoshinoya Resorts has rolled out a new smartphone app at 15 properties, which monitors the size of crowds at their popular onsen, public hot springs.
   Onsen, which is one of the highlights of going to a ryokan or resort, allows guests to release themselves from the stress of “stay-home” practices. But overcrowding can compromise the experience. Hoshino’s app will lead to safer and more comfortable use of the springs, as it creates an environment that avoids the occurrence of the “three Cs”: close contact, confined spaces, and crowded places.
   The app detects real-time crowd size via use of distance sensors which communicate with IoT-sensitive devices. The IoT device can count accurate numbers of people, make real-time connections between data and the cloud, adapt to different environments, and help guests stay informed of the optimal hours for onsen visits.
   Though Hoshino provides the download to guests, the information can easily be obtained through a web browser. But the innovative app is a convenience enabling visitors to read QR codes through their smartphones and to be informed in real-time about the perfect moment to immerse oneself in the healing waters.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

 


Maldives plans to open up July 15; Las Vegas says flights continue to increase

Filed by Lucire staff//8.30

We’re not entirely sure about the wisdom of some destinations telling us they are reopening, while COVID-19 is still very much present in our world.
   In a regular analysis by Lucire publisher Jack Yan, where infections as a percentage of tests done are analysed—a figure not adopted by mainstream media—there are some countries still with very high numbers.
   France, one European country opening up, still has a high (and rising) infection rate at 11·90 per cent at the time of writing, three times higher than Germany’s (3·62 per cent) and the UK’s (3·32 per cent). Sweden is on 13·19 per cent, and falling.
   The Maldives, on 4·69 per cent, tells Lucire that they will reopen on the 15th, with resorts and hotels on uninhabited islands accessible, while those on local islands open on August 1.
   Tourists do not need to pay extra, or produce a certificate showing that they are COVID-19-negative prior to entering the country. Those without symptoms will not be required to quarantine. Travellers will need to fill out a health declaration card on the inbound flight or at the airport, and those who have symptoms en route need to inform their Health Protection Agency. They are also advising those who have symptoms, and those who have had contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days not to travel there.
   Arrivals must wear masks and be thermal-screened, and physical distancing needs to be maintained.
   Those who arrive with symptoms will be given a PCR test at their own cost, then sent to isolation, either at the resort (if its policy allows) or a state-run facility.
   There is contact tracing and random testing, and a set of restrictions on inter-island travel.
   The other requirement is that travellers must have a confirmed booking with a Ministry of Tourism-registered establishment.
   When departing, tourists will undergo an exit screening, and symptomatic ones will be subject to a PCR test.
   Further updates are on their foreign affairs’ ministry website, www.foreign.gov.mv.
   Given that the Haj is cancelled this year, it is a brave step for the Maldives to open up for tourism again, especially while COVID-19 runs rampant in some countries.


Mark Damon/Las Vegas News Bureau

   Las Vegas, meanwhile, has sent us news that their summer flights continue to increase.
   This is up from 110 a day during the ‘lowest point of travel’ during the pandemic to 280 a day in July. By August, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors’ Authority forecasts the figure will rise to 330. This points to demand as well as ‘renewed confidence in air travel’, says the Authority.
   The US is on a falling national infection rate figure of 7·98 per cent; the state of Nevada is on 5·71 per cent.
   By comparison with other countries where Lucire has a notable readership, New Zealand sits on 0·38 per cent, and Australia on 0·32 per cent. European countries once considered hot spots, Italy and Spain, are on 4·46 and 5·44 per cent respectively.
   Potential travellers are advised to consult with their own country’s health authorities as well as the WHO’s website on COVID-19.

 


LA Mask: an elegant way to make sure your personal face masks remain handy

Filed by Lucire staff/June 12, 2020/0.38

Elizabeth Faraut, who created the LA Loop—dubbed ‘the Original Necklace for Eyewear’—21 years ago, launches a new product that’s very much of our times: the LA Mask, a functional way to make sure people remember their masks when heading out during these times, when COVID-19 remains very much a health issue in so many countries.
   Working on a similar principle to the LA Loop, which became a simple, elegant and practical way to keep your eyewear around your neck, LA Mask allows wearers to hang their personal health masks the same way.
   Faraut was inspired to create LA Mask when going shopping, finding, as many have, that it was too easy to leave one’s mask behind. ‘As shelter-at-home became the new normal, it didn’t take me long to figure out that going grocery shopping early on Sunday morning was the way to go. And while I may have realized the best times to shop, there were snags along the way: when I would arrive at the market and realized I had forgotten my mask, creating LA Mask was a necessity,’ she said. ‘While easy, no-fuss, minimal–practical has been my mantra since founding LA Loop, LA Mask is a game changer in our ever-changing world.’
   Faraut offers the LA Mask with or without a mask. The mask hangs against the chest. Without it, LA Mask becomes an elegant necklace, or it could be worn as a bracelet.
   LA Mask is hand-made in Los Angeles. The masks sold with it use vintage fabrics, and all are pre-washed. The Classic collection masks are 100 per cent cotton blend.
   For June and July sales, LA Mask will donate a portion of the proceeds to Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), focused on serving and empowering homelessness and formerly homeless women.
   LA Mask is available via LA Loop’s website, www.laloop.com, and at international retailers.

 


British Fashion Council, Bags of Ethics team up to offer designer face coverings for charity

Filed by Lucire staff/June 5, 2020/23.02







The six designs, in order: Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn, and Rixo.

In another sign of the times, the British Fashion Council and Bags of Ethics have launched a campaign dubbed Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet, to manufacture and retail sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings designed by Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn, and Rixo.
   The project aims to raise £1 million, with all profits going to charity, split between NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.
   Bags of Ethics’ partner factories will manufacture the coverings. A pack of three, with two protective pouches, will retail for £15. They will be sold through the BFC website at britishfashioncouncil.com and partner retailers including ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners, and Sainsbury’s (in Tu Clothing sections in selected superstores, convenience stores and online at tu.co.uk and argos.co.uk).
   Caroline Rush, the BFC’s chief executive, said in a release, ‘Fashion is a unifying force and now, more than ever, it is essential that we collaborate and come together to support each other through difficult times. Our ambition is to contribute to the fight against COVID-19, while protecting vital PPE supplies reserved for the NHS. Through this project, we will not only celebrate British designers but also champion sustainability in a time of crisis.’
   Dr R. Sri Ram, chairman, Bags of Ethics added, ‘We have always been at the forefront of supporting the public through mass behavioural changes in positive and useful ways. Since the early 2000s we helped supermarkets, and retailers reduce their single-use plastic bag consumption by five-plus billion units through sustainable and reusable bags. A new challenge arises with the coronavirus pandemic. Our aim is to manufacture high-quality reusable non-medical face coverings for the public which reduces stigma through great British design, in line with advice from our scientific community, whilst having a positive effect on both people and planet.’
   Money raised for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund will support the next round of funding for designer businesses. The BFC has already distributed £1 million of emergency funding to 37 designers as its first round to help the industry during the COVID-19 crisis.

 


Instagram round-up, May 27: as some emerge from lockdown

Filed by Lucire staff/May 27, 2020/10.26

As some celebrities and models continue with lockdown, and others are starting to emerge from theirs, their Instagrams are a far more mixed bag than when we began peering into them again earlier this year.
   While a few months ago, there were express acknowledgements of the COVID-19 pandemic, this week there was no caption from Kylie Jenner as she posted a selfie of herself in a bra and jeans, love heart aside, with half-sister Kim Kardashian exclaiming ‘WOW’ with six flame emojis. And being Jenner the photo received 10·6 million likes, and Kardashian’s comment, at the time of writing, had 11,999—it’ll easily be over 12,000 by the time you read this.
   In Milano, where things are beginning to open up again, Chiara Ferragni showed off her pride capsule collection, sharing the link in her Instagram Stories. The home-shot top showcases its rainbow stripes proudly, with ‘Love fiercely’ emblazoned on the front.
   It’s outside for singer–model Hilde Osland modelling Bombshell Sportswear, showing off the red autumn leaves in Western Australia, as that country’s COVID-19 infections dwindle. German actress Franziska Knuppe went further afield, into the Baltic Sea on board a boat for a photo shoot, doing her own make-up (using Shiseido) and hair (using Schwarzkopf), but beyond that, it’s a ‘secret project’ and we’re to wait to see just what this is.
   Bar Refaeli had a far simpler, more relaxed post on her ’Gram, looking natural in Tel Aviv with the simple caption, ‘Favorite time of the day. ME TIME’, a sentiment which many of us would embrace. Just as blissful was a post from Marina Laswick to her one million followers, her husband Kev Dukes holding her up. They’re making a Q&A video to answer questions about their successful marriage, and among the comments is an admission that Kev is usually behind the lens of Laswick’s photographs.
   Silvana Araujo, with nearly a million followers as fans of her fitness advice, is the only one in our round-up who mentions her quarantine (in Bogotá) directly. Wearing a bikini, she’s alerting fans to her upcoming fitness videos.
   Finally, Lucire cover alumna, actress Violett Beane, who turned 24 earlier this month, showed off a new hair colour (‘Extremely-faded-dark-brown-box-dyed’) and ’do.

 


Anne Klein teams up with founder’s granddaughter in COVID-19 initiative

Filed by Lucire staff/April 20, 2020/15.49

The Anne Klein brand, part of WHP, has teamed up with its founder’s granddaughter, Hello There Collective CEO Jesse Gre Rubinstein, to distribute 100,000 face masks through the company’s supply chain to essential workers and community organizations in the US.
   Rubinstein’s agency, specializing in social media, will launch Annie Klein’s social series, featuring individuals who have made a difference and connected communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rubinstein will host the series on Facebook Live.
   ‘Uniting the brand Anne Klein with the founder’s family at this critical time and making a commitment to distribute 100,000 masks to those on the frontlines helping our communities, is a win–win,’ said WHP chairman and CEO Yehuda Shmidman, who added that the collaboration was just the beginning.
   ‘I am honoured to have the opportunity to play a role in supporting my grandmother’s legacy by highlighting inspiring individuals who even during this time of great uncertainty, embody the vision and strength to empower their community and uplift those around them,’ said Rubinstein. ‘My hope is that this initiative serves as the launch of a powerful network that can both support and inspire others to help not only in the present, but as we begin to rebuild.’

 


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