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Google Maps Will Tell You About Covid-19 Travel Related Restrictions: Here is How

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The new feature on Google Maps will remind users to wear a face mask on a crowded public transit.

Google has announced new features on its Maps that will now alert users about Covid-19 related travel restrictions to help them plan their trips in a better way by maintaining social distancing norms. Users will also be notified about places that are crowded which include public transports, medical checkpoints and other important places. The company said that this new feature will help avoid going to crowded places. Interestingly, the new feature also comes at a time when governments around the world are making a calibrated exit from the Covid-19 lockdown and reopening cities as well.

Talking about how this new feature works, when users will look for public transit directions, they will receive "relevant alerts" from transit agencies about the precautions they need to take while travelling, for instance, wearing a face mask. Furthermore, if a public transit line is temporarily closed or remains suspended, users will ger a heads-up about that as well.

“Getting from A to B can be more complicated these days. Because of COVID-19, it’s increasingly important to know how crowded a train station might be at a particular time or whether the bus is running on a limited schedule. Having this information before and during your trip is critical for both essential workers who need to safely navigate to work and will become more important for everyone as countries around the world begin to reopen,” Ramesh Nagarajan, product management director at Google Maps, said in a blog post.

The feature will be made available to both Android and iOS users. It will be rolled out in countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the US, Nagarajan said in the blog post. Google Maps will share relevant information from local transit agencies when users look for directions that are likely to be restricted due to COVID-19.

“When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we’ll 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. where we have information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon,” the blog post read.

Besides, Google Maps is also introducing a driver alert feature to let users get notified about Covid-19 checkpoints and restrictions in the route when crossing national borders. According to Google, this feature will be first rolled out in Canada, Mexico and the US.