Google Extends Covid-19 Travel Information In Search, Now With Alerts

Covid 19 restrictions travel advisement google travel search alerts

Google is extending on Covid-19 information added to its travel-related search results last year with a new alerts system. That’s based on a recent blog post from the search giant, detailing the new features. More specifically, in addition to a few other changes, the company now lets users see alerts about changing restrictions on a per-region basis. Building on last year’s tool that simply showed that information on a per-search basis.

As long as users are signed into their Google account, they will now see a toggle on those search results. That toggle reads “Receive an email if this guidance changes” and does just that. If restrictions are added, lifted, or reduced for a location searched in any of Google’s travel-related products, users will be notified. With updates provided on a country-specific basis and state-specific information available in the US.

Additionally, the company is adding more detail to the results. So, if users need to quarantine on arrival, for example, the search results will inform them of that. That will also include details regarding whether or not they need to provide proof of test results or immunization records.


Google has made more exciting travel-related search engine changes too

The search giant isn’t leaving its changes to coronavirus updates though. And, it isn’t sticking to just flights where those alerts are concerned.

Instead, the company has also redesigned the Explore tab, now located at Google’s dedicated Travel site. And that redesign allows users to search up different types of trips well beyond flying to a destination. Specifically, users can search for smaller cities, national parks, and more, with filtering for interests. So, if users want to go outside, to a beach, skiing, or any number of other activities, that can be sorted for.

To offset any confusion that might cause, Google says that selecting flights only in “Travel Mode” will reveal only cities with an airport. And of course, users will see travel advisories and restrictions alongside the other information its search engine returns. So that’ll appear alongside the other trip-planning tools.


For those who are more interested in a road trip, Google Maps is getting a similar update too. Namely, the tool can now help desktop users enter a start and endpoint, and then select different types of locations to stop along the way. So users will be able to select hotels, parks, campgrounds, and more, and those locations will be highlighted on the map for selection. Selecting them, conversely, adds them to the trip as a stop. Then, the directions can be sent to a phone via text, email, or the Maps app.

But wait, there’s more

Now, all of this is rolling out as of today. So users should already be seeing them. But Google has also updated the Google Maps app to accommodate. Namely, by including a swipe-up feature, during navigation, which will help users find new stops along the way. Or remove previously scheduled stops.