Google Maps' New Coronavirus Features Will Keep You Updated With Travel & Safety Info

by Daffany Chan
Originally Published: 
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Countries around the world have implemented safety restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic that may have complicated your usual commute. To help you navigate the roads during the pandemic, Google Maps has launched new features that'll notify you of important information so you can safely make it to your destination without worrying about potential issues. Here's how Google Maps' new coronavirus features work.

In a June 8 blog post, Google introduced alerts so that users could easily access information that would help them navigate coronavirus hotspots, checkpoints, and more. To get coronavirus travel alerts, you'll need to download Google Maps' latest release for Android or iOS. The alerts pull from data the company is collecting from local and national agencies and governments.

You'll find three types of alerts on Google Maps: restriction alerts, testing alerts, and public transit alerts.

Restriction alerts will notify you of COVID-19 checkpoints when you cross national borders as well as restrictions you may come across along your route. The alert will be shown on the directions screen if you're entering an area that has certain restrictions, such as a mask mandate or social distancing regulations. Restriction alerts are available now in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

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If you're driving to a medical facility or a coronavirus testing center, you can take advantage of testing alerts. It'll display an alert that reminds you to verify eligibility and facility guidelines so you don't have to risk being turned away and potentially put additional strain on your local healthcare system. Alerts for medical facilities is available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the United States., and testing center alerts are available in the United States.

When you're planning on catching the bus, Google Maps' public transit alerts will give you a notification from local transit agencies with reminders of regulations, like mask requirements or if government mandates are impacting transit services, like contributing to long wait times or closing down the services entirely. Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, the UK and the United States.

As of June 28, the CDC guidelines for traveling in the United States says that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. If you need to travel, the CDC recommends cleaning your hands often, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a face covering, and avoiding traveling when you're sick.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.

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