Google TravelSource: Google

What you need to know

  • Google is updating its travel apps to show information on responses to coronavirus.
  • The Travel web-app will now highlight travel advisories made by governments.
  • When searching for flights, the Flights web-app will also showcase flexible booking and cancellation policies.

Google will start highlighting travel advisories and flexible booking policies for people who search for travel-related information amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The company will highlight this information in relevant places like Google Travel, Google Flights, and Google Maps, depending on what was searched and where.

Google's Richard Holden, Vice President, Product Management, Travel, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday:

When you search on Google for information like flights, hotels, or things to do you'll start seeing COVID-19 related travel advisories or restrictions for your destination, with links to relevant information from your country's travel authority when possible. [...] In response to COVID-19, many airlines have adjusted change fee and cancellation policies. When you search on Google for flights with a specific airline or go to Google Flights, we'll direct you to our Help Center article with more information on airline policies.

As the novel coronavirus continues its world tour, many countries like the U.K, India, and South Africa are heading into lockdown, throwing the wisdom of considering any non-essential travel into question at this time.

For those who have to head home from international events, universities, and similar placements, Google's new tools might prove to be a godsend.