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Google Maps introducing new features to help avoid spread of coronavirus

The Google logo at a gadgets show in Paris. June 16, 2017. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Thibault Camus

As businesses open up across the country and people begin to venture out for work and entertainment again, Google is introducing new features to its map app in an effort to help users avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Users will also have the option to receive travel alerts related to COVID-19 and contribute real-time information.

The new features include:

  • How busy a station is: More popular times and live data will be available on the Google Maps departure board for people to see how busy a transit station is.
Credit: Google
  • Travel alerts for border restrictions: The app will issue alerts to notify users of any government issued road restrictions and routes that are prohibited or inadvisable.
  • Crowdedness predictions: This existing feature has been revamped and it will be simpler for user to contribute information about how crowded a transit line is, so that others can avoid it. Past rider feedback will also be available.
Credit: Google

Other features that are on the way for Canadians include information about testing centres and alerts if your trip will be affected by COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Medical facilities and testing centres: If users are mapping out a route to a COVID-19 testing centre, Google Maps will send alerts informing them of the need for an appointment or the availability of a drive-through centre.
  • Alerts for a trip that might be affected by COVID-19 restrictions: If a user is planning a trip and the route includes public transit that is impacted by government mandates related to COVID-19, they will receive an alert so you can adjust your route accordingly.


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