Google Maps Adds New COVID-19 Alerts As More Cities Reopen
When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Google Maps will show relevant alerts from local transit agencies.
These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation.
Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S.
According to the blog post of Google, “We’re also introducing driving alerts to notify you about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along your route, like when crossing national borders (starting first in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.). You’ll see an alert on the directions screen and after starting navigation if your route is impacted by these restrictions.”
“When navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers, we’ll display an alert reminding you to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system. Starting this week, alerts for medical facilities will be available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S., and testing center alerts will be available in the U.S.” Maps product director Ramesh Nagarajan wrote in a blog post.
To ensure proper social distancing, commuters are paying attention to how crowded or comfortable their ride and transit station will be. Starting today, you can easily see the times when a transit station is historically more or less busy to plan your trip accordingly or you can look at live data showing how busy it is right now compared to its usual level of activity.
Simply search for a station in Google Maps or tap on the station on the map to see the departure board and busyness data, where available. Rolling out over the next several weeks, these capabilities are powered by aggregated and anonymized data from users who have opted in to Google Location History, a Google account-level setting that is off by default. To protect privacy, these insights are only surfaced when we have sufficient data to meet privacy thresholds.