A small, round device resembling Princess' Ocean Medallion was offered to passengers boarding the Costa Smeralda in Savona, Italy, on Saturday that they were told would assist in contact tracing in the event someone onboard tests positive for Covid-19.

The disk was offered on a voluntary basis.
The disk was offered on a voluntary basis.

The only stated functionality of the OceanOrbit is technology that will enable the crew to determine who -- that carries the disk -- was within six feet, for more than 15 minutes, of a passenger subsequently discovered to be infected.

The disk was offered on a voluntary basis to anyone who signed a declaration that stated the line's privacy policy regarding personal data and use of the device. It appeared that the overwhelming majority of the passengers opted in.

• Related: Costa returns to the seas

The device uses Bluetooth Low Energy mode and an encrypted numerical system that detects identification codes between devices without disclosing their location. The device "respects your privacy and protects your health and safety" the declaration states.

Passengers were urged to carry it with them at all times, including on shore excursions.

The ship is on a seven-day itinerary that will call at Marseille, France; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Palermo and Civitavecchia (the port of Rome), Italy, before returning to Savona.

Carnival Corporation, parent of both Princess and Costa, has not announced which line will next deploy technology similar to the fully functioning Ocean Medallion.

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