By Kim Lyons for The Verge
Google has unveiled new tools to help people planning their first post-vaccination vacations, as COVID-19 restrictions and requirements still vary widely among domestic and international travel destinations.
A Google search for flights, hotels, or things to do will now also bring up results for any COVID-19-related travel advisories or restrictions at the searcher’s destination. Google has added additional travel restriction details, including whether quarantine is required or if you have to show proof of immunisation or a negative COVID-19 test. Users can choose to receive updates about when restrictions are lifted or added for a given destination. The updates are country-specific and state-specific within the US.
Under the “explore” tab on Google’s travel page, people can browse not just for flights but filter destinations by interests, like beaches or skiing. When you choose a destination, you’ll get the updated information on any travel advisories or restrictions as well.
After pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions kept many people at home much of last year, Google isn’t the only company preparing for the return of travel. Expedia Group — which includes online travel agent (OTA) websites Expedia, Vrbo, Travelocity, Hotels.com, and others — created its Travel Advisor tool to help customers plan trips and follow any COVID-19 restrictions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends Americans delay travel until they’ve been fully vaccinated, after which they can travel safely within the US. The agency has a map showing where travel may be especially risky due to the coronavirus.
And while Americans are still barred from travelling to many international destinations, a European Union official told The New York Times over the weekend that Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should be able to visit the EU this summer.