Google adds COVID-19 destination alerts: receive email when rules change

7

Google has added a useful new feature to their search results.  If you search for a flight or hotel destination, Google now shows a relevant COVID-19 alert.  Even better, Google lets you select to get an email if/when travel conditions change.

Simply do a Google search for a destination along with the word “flights” or “hotels”, then scroll down to find a COVID-19 alert.  Here are some examples that I found:

  • Search term: “St Croix hotels”
    Alert: Negative COVID-19 test required within 120 hours before departure
  •  Search term: “australia flights”
    Alert: Destination closed to entry. Exceptions may apply.
  • Search term: “athens hotels”
    Alert: Negative COVID-19 test required before departure or 7-day quarantine required on arrival

Unfortunately, some of the alerts are currently misleading.  For example, the search for “Hawaii flights” returned an alert stating: “Quarantine for 10 days required on arrival.”  That’s technically true, but it doesn’t mention that you can get out of that requirement with negative COVID tests.  Still, the alert provides a document that you can go to for further information in order to find that kind of necessary info.

In my opinion, the best part of the new feature is the ability to receive an email if guidance changes:

Strangely, the option to receive an email does not show up for me if I search for “Hawaii flights,” but it does show up when I search for “Hawaii hotels”.  Meanwhile, searches for flights to other destinations does result in the ability to receive an email.  So, I don’t know what’s up with that.

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