The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us around the world indoors and we could move out only to grab the essentials or when it’s absolutely necessary. Now, close to five months later, a lot of countries are starting to go back to normal and open their doors to foreign travelers. The travel industry was the worst hit due to the pandemic. Google is trying to give it a boost while enabling users to safely plan out their travel during these uncertain times.
Google Search has bagged some important updates to deliver the latest travel info for locations you might be planning to visit as we put COVID-19 behind us. The highlight will have to be the ‘travel advisory’ cards at the very top. Google will inform you whether a country or city you want to visit has any COVID-19 restrictions or rules in place.
The advisory will be followed by travel trends, showing the percentage of hotels and flights available or operating at the city or county level. The company is using ‘Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week’ to deduce the same. This feature will tell if you can get in/ get out of the destination and get hotel accommodation or not.
Both the hotel and flight features in Search have been further beefed up in line with the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. While the hotel feature in Search is now going to include a ‘free cancellation’ filter to show rental homes that offer this perk, the Google Travel website will show you availability trend lines for the past weeks or so. “Links to additional local resources, including the number of COVID-19 cases, are provided as well,” says Google in the official blog post.
All of the aforementioned features could prove to be really useful for travelers during these uncertain times. We, however, would suggest you to stay indoors if possible and take all necessary precautions – wear a mask, carry hand sanitizer, and gloves – while traveling to curb the spread of COVID-19.