You may already be using Google tools to help you compare prices this holiday season, but new features offer information that could help you to stay safe when you are out and about.
“You can see within that layer whether the (COVID-19) cases are trending up or trending down,” said Google’s spokesperson, Jesus Garcia.
Garcia says a new COVID-19 layer in Google Maps can show you the average number of cases by location.
If you are headed to a business, you can look up that business, and a section called “Health and Safety” will give you information on the COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place.
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“Information about some of the safety protocols and cleaning protocols that hotels, stores, and other businesses are taking so that whenever you are going to be interacting with them, you are well-informed and ready for those safety protocols,” Garcia explained.
If you are looking to avoid big crowds, Google has information on the most popular store hours.
“We have the ability to see how busy a potential business is. We call it ‘busy time.’ We also offer the ability to see in real-time, so we are able to see how busy it is usually but also in real-time,” Garcia said.
If you plan to travel, Google.com/travel helps you compare prices in different places but also shows you the COVID-19 restrictions that exist in each place.
By clicking the layer that says “Free Cancellation,” you can find out which rates are refundable for hotels and airfare.
It’s important to note the CDC recommends staying home and using online services as much as possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.