Google Adds COVID-19 Data & Warnings To Travel Searches
Google has spent the bulk of 2020 adapting its services for remote learning, food deliveries, and other hallmarks of the pandemic-struck world. Now, as cities and travel destinations slowly reopen, Google is updating search results to show local coronavirus data, hotel availability, and any business or travel restrictions related to COVID-19.
Searching for anything related to travel, like “hotels in Norfolk VA,” brings up your destination’s COVID-19 trends and the percentage of open hotels or flights. Clicking the COVID-19 data shows you coronavirus statistics and news while clicking the hotel or flight information brings you to Google’s regularly-updated Hotels and Flights shopping pages. This COVID-19 related information is also available on Google’s Trips page.
In addition to its updated Search results, Google is adding a “Free Cancellation” filter to its Hotels tool. You can tell Google Hotels to only shows destinations with a free cancellation policy, which may come in handy should businesses or local governments reverse their reopening procedures.
Google’s updated Search and Trips results should show roll out to all users by August 21st. In the meantime, use Google Maps to get travel advisories while on the road and check for hotels and flights on Google Trips.