· Users will now get alerts regarding restrictions on public transport
· Car users will be able to see checkpoints and restrictions along their route
Google Maps has introduced new features to help its users work around the COVID-19 situation. These updates are available in many countries, including India, and make Google Maps more useful as many countries start their gradual reopening following the pandemic-enforced lockdown.
What are the new features?
The first feature, called transit alerts, sends users relevant notifications from their local transit agencies regarding the status of public transport. This helps alert users about COVID-19-related travel restrictions, like the need for a compulsory face mask, for example, to help them plan their trips accordingly. This feature is currently available in India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The second feature is for people using their own cars or cabs. The feature provides alerts regarding checkpoints and restrictions along the chosen route, including when crossing national borders (starting with Canada, Mexico and the US). The user will get these alerts on the directions screen.
Another feature introduced is for people travelling to hospitals or COVID-19 testing centres, reminding them to verify their eligibility and give them the facility guidelines. However, for now, this feature for hospitals will be available only in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the US. Meanwhile, the testing centre alert will be enabled only in the US for now.
How do I get these features?
To be able to use the features, users will have to download and install the update for Google Maps from the App store, available on both, Android and iOS platforms.
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