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    Friday, August 14, 2020

    Google Adds COVID-19 Related Travel Planning Features in Search

    While many countries are still reporting a rising number of COVID-19 cases and are imposing lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, a few will now be opening up travel. To help travellers plan properly, Google has now added a few tweaks to its search results, offering information regarding hotels and availability of flights.

    In a blog post, Google has mentioned, "Because the impact of COVID-19 on destinations can vary, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest travel-related information for places you may want to visit."

    The search engine giant said that when a user will search on Google for information like hotels, flights or things to do, they will now see when there’s a COVID-19 travel advisory or restriction for their destination.

    It added that a few days earlier, driving alerts has been introduced to notify users about COVID-19 checkpoints and as restrictions and advisories begin to lift. It is adding information about travel resuming in a particular destination on Google Search.

    According to Google, in the next week, users will see the percentage of open hotels with availability and flights operating in the city or country-level based on Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week.

    The blog post by Google said that when users visit google.com/travel and tap on a trip that they are planning, or search for hotels and things to do, they will see trends for hotel and flight availability. Links to additional local resources, including the number of COVID-19 cases are being provided as well.

    It also mentioned that due to uncertainty around COVID-19, people are looking at flexibility when planning travels. A number of hotels now offer free cancellation to give travellers more confidence while planning trips. Google will now allow travellers to search hotels and vacation rentals on google.com/travel and filter to see only rooms or properties with free cancellation policies.
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