Google Expands Covid-19 Travel Info In Search, Now With Alerts


Google is expanding Covid-19 information added to its travel-related search results last year with a new alert system. This is based on a recent Blog post from the search giant, detailing the new features. Specifically, in addition to a few other changes, the company now allows users to see alerts on changing restrictions by region. Building on last year’s tool which simply showed this information by search.

As long as users are signed in to their Google account, they will now see a toggle on those search results. This toggle says “Receive email if these instructions change” and does just that. If restrictions are added, lifted, or reduced for a location searched in any of Google’s travel-related products, users will be notified. With updates provided on a country specific basis and state specific information available in the United States.

In addition, the company adds more details to the results. So, if users need to quarantine when they arrive, for example, the search results will notify them. This will also include details as to whether or not they need to provide proof of test results or vaccination records.

Google also made more interesting changes to travel-related search engines.

The search giant is not leaving its changes to coronavirus updates, however. And, it doesn’t just stick to the flights where these alerts are concerned.

Instead, the company also redesigned the Explore tab, now located on Google’s dedicated travel site. And this redesign allows users to search for different types of travel far beyond just flying to a destination. Specifically, users can search for smaller towns, national parks, etc. by filtering interests. So if users want to go outdoors, beach, ski, or a number of other activities, it can be sorted.

To compensate for any confusion that might cause, Google says that selecting flights only in “Travel Mode” will only reveal cities with an airport. And of course, users will see travel advisories and restrictions alongside other information returned by its search engine. So it will show up alongside other trip planning tools.

For those who are more interested in a road trip, Google Maps also receives a similar update. Namely, the tool can now help desktop users enter a start and end point and then select different types of locations to stop along the way. Thus, users will be able to select hotels, parks, campgrounds, etc., and those locations will be highlighted on the map for selection. Their selection, conversely, adds them to the trip as a stop. Then the routes can be sent to a phone via SMS, email or the Maps app.

But wait, there is more

Now all of this is taking place from today. Users should therefore already see them. But Google has also updated the Google Maps app to accommodate it. Namely, by including a swipe up feature, while navigating, which will help users find new stops along the way. Or delete the previously scheduled stops.


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