Google Maps Latest Update Gives You Covid-19 Alerts and Info for Your Commute

By Shabana Arif on at

Google Maps is rolling out a new update on iOS and Android to make getting around in the this plague-riddled world a bit less risky, so if you're driving or using public transport, you'll get all the important alerts you need.

If you're going to take a gander at directions to wherever it is you're going that involves public transport, the app will show you alerts from local transit agencies - like whether you need to wear a mask (you most definitely do here in the UK). If you're driving, you'll get alerts about any COVID-19 checkpoints or restrictions along your route, once you start navigating your journey on the app. You'll also be notified of any requirements you may need to follow if you're using Google Maps to make your way to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centres, so that you don't get told to bugger off when you get there. All of the information is being pulled from " local, state and federal governments" so will be as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but obviously, don't just rely on Google Maps to tell you whether you need to be wearing a mask or booking an appointment at a test centre for example.

The app already has a feature for telling you how crowded public transport is, which is handy now more than ever, what with social distancing. The feature was improved upon in February with additional insights like temperature, accessibility, and security, as well as women’s sections in particular regions; Google has confirmed that these additions are now rolling out globally, so you can avoid crowds as much as possible if you have the luxury of planning your journey to that extent. You may just have to don a mask and lump it on a crowded bus just to show up in the office, but it's there if you need it. So keep an eye out for the updates this week if you're in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S.