Norwegian Cruise Line reopening with medical-grade air filtration used in airplanes

Norwegian Cruise Line will set sail with new coronavirus-prompted health and safety measures in place.

The Miami-based cruise line announced Tuesday it is implementing new air filtration and enhanced health screening protocols for crew members and travelers as part of its "Sail Safe" guidelines for when operations restart this summer.

Norwegian said it has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement fleetwide safety measures, which include installing medical-grade, H13 HEPA air-filters said to remove 99.95 percent of airborne pathogens.

Before boarding ships, guests will be required to undergo health screenings, and those who are considered at risk will be further screened. There will also be staggered check-in times to ensure social distancing, and contactless temperature checks throughout the voyage will also be implemented, Norwegian's new guidelines say. The guest capacity onboard will also be reduced.

Air filtration like HEPA filters has been said to reduce the risk of transmission of measles and influenza, according to research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases from 2018. The CDC also suggested the use of HEPA filters during the SARS outbreak in hospitals, according to Consumer Reports.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a "No Sail Order for Cruise Ships" in April, and the order is slated to stay in effect through July or until the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Depending on when ports reopen, Norwegian is aiming to restart its operations on July 1, and the company is allowing cancellations for cruises booked through Nov. 30 up to 48 hours prior to the vacation start date, its website says.