Google has updated its maps app to now show guidelines at the top when Covid-19 may impact how someone is traveling. Directions will now include, where possible, details from train delays to border crossing restrictions in some countries. Google just rolled out these new details, and is looking to include requirements too if people must wear masks on some forms of transportation.
As Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world, some countries are also starting to relax lockdown and social distancing rules in small measures. Italy, for example, has opened up some tourist locations including the Roman Forum and in the United States, New York is now allowing some businesses to open across the state.
These shifts mean more people are moving about, taking subways to work and thinking of driving for work, or perhaps for personal reasons. The new notations appear not only on the mobile version of Google Maps, but the desktop version as well. The notes show up above the actual directions, telling people that “Public transport services may be impacted due to COVID-19,” for example, or suggesting people “Verify COVID-19 border restrictions before going.”
Google Maps already adds updated times on when public transportation is scheduled to arrive at a station and even predicts how busy a train or bus may be that’s set to arrive next. You can also get voice guidance on instructions, with directions read-aloud.
Those traveling to medical facilities or testing sites for Covid-19 will also see alerts to make sure they check the guidelines at that specific location before showing up.
The public transit alerts are first coming to select countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S. More will follow.
As for border crossing, those will be listed for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. first.
Alerts for medical facilities will start in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea and the U.S., with testing site details only, for now, available in the U.S.