Google launches new tools to help users plan travel during the pandemic

Travellers will be able to access information on hotel and flight availability, and search for properties with free cancellation policies

a Young woman booking a holiday online. Getty Images

Google has launched a set of new tools to help users get up-to-date travel information.

Recognising that the impact of the pandemic can vary widely from country to country, Google has started providing pandemic-specific information about flights, hotels and destinations for those looking to book travel in the Unites States and United Kingdom, with new markets set to be added in the coming weeks.

"As some countries around the world begin to reopen this summer, we’re seeing more searches for place to go on vacation. 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,” noted Richard Holden, Google’s vice president of product management, travel.

Google is already automatically supplying information on Covid-19 travel advisories or restrictions when people search for hotels, places and information on specific destinations via

“And, we recently introduced driving alerts to notify you about Covid-19 checkpoints and restrictions along your route in Google Maps,” Holden says.

“As restrictions and advisories begin to lift, we’re adding information about travel resuming in a specific destination on Google Search. In the next week, you’ll see the percentage of open hotels with availability and flights operating at the city or county level based on Google Flights and Hotels data from the previous week.”

In the next week, you'll see the percentage of open hotels with availability and flights operating at the city or county level

Other new features include links to additional local resources, including the number of Covid-19 cases, as well as trend lines for hotel and flight availability. Google is also introducing a tool that will let users search for rooms or hotels that offer free cancellation policies.

“Due to the uncertainty around Covid-19, people often want flexibility when making travel plans,” Holden noted.

Google is launching new tools to help users plans their travels. Courtesy Google