Society is opening back up. It's happening slowly and it won't be fully until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus can be widely distributed, but it's happening. Still, movement restrictions are in place and, for transit riders, service reductions and mask requirements remain the name of the game. Google Maps is catching up with these changes by pushing more travel alerts when users pull up directions.

If the destination is across country borders, Maps will alert users to testing checkpoints along the way and any travel restrictions. These pushes are available for travelers between Canada, Mexico, and U.S.

Those who are heading to a hospital, urgent care, or COVID-19 testing center will be fed information about eligibility requirements in order to be tested or what facilities are open for non-COVID treatments. Alerts for medical facilities are available this week in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea. The U.S. will see alerts for both medical facilities and test centers.

Alerts about service and mask requirements will appear for Maps users looking up transit directions starting in 13 countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • France
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Building on that extra data for transit users, each applicable step in a set of directions will also highlight information about vehicle crowdedness, a vector that Google began tracking widely in 2019 through user submissions. Plus, Maps will show its live busyness tracker at the top of schedule boards for transit stations in the next few weeks — the data comes from those who have Google Location History turned on.

Here's to a safe journey, wherever you need or want to go.