Google Maps to alert users about travel restrictions

Google Maps, a web mapping service that is developed by Google, has rolled out a number of new transit features which are aimed at helping users to travel safely through car or public transport as countries start to ease lockdown and reopen after closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) unit disclosed on Monday that Google is adding features on its Maps service to alert users about COVID-19-related travel restrictions to help them plan their trips better.

In the latest release of the Google Maps on Android and IOS, Google Map users will receive alerts about whether travel will be affected by any Covid-19 restriction, such as the requirements to wear a mask on public transport or if there are Covid-19 checkpoints or restrictions along the driving route

The update will allow users to check how crowded a train station might be at a particular time, or if buses on a certain route are running on a limited schedule, Google said.

According to the company’s blog post, the transit alerts will initially be rolled out in Argentina, France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, India, Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

Google Maps to alert users about travel restrictions related to covid-19

Users navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers will also receive alerts reminding them of facility safety guidelines and to verify eligibility for testing to avoid being turned back.

In recent months, the company has analyzed location data from billions of Google users’ phones in 131 countries, to examine mobility under lockdowns and help health authorities assess if people were abiding with social-distancing and other orders issued to rein in the virus.

Google has invested billions of dollars from its search ads business to digitally map the world, drawing 1 billion users on average every month to its free navigation app.