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Google introduces features to help users travel during COVID-19 - here's how to use them

Starting this week, Google will add information about travel resuming in a specific destination on Google Search.

August 17, 2020 / 11:10 AM IST

Google has introduced some new features to its search results that would help users travel better. As restrictions begin to lift and people start travelling, these features will help them stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines and restrictions, if any.

Google has listed all the new travel-related features it is bringing to Search in its blog post. Starting this week, Google will add information about travel resuming in a specific destination on Google Search. Users will be able to 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.

How to check for open hotels and operating flights? 

Visit google.com/travel and tap on a trip you are planning, or search for hotels and things to do. You will see trendlines for hotel and flight availability. Links to additional local resources, including the number of COVID-19 cases, are provided as well.

Further, Google will also add details of hotels offering a free cancellation option for bookings. Search for a hotel or a vacation rental on google.com/travel and filter to see only rooms or properties with free cancellation policies. You can tap on a specific listing to see more details.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Google has already rolled out the COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions in Google Maps. The feature will provide relevant alerts from local transit agencies when users look up transit direction for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 17, 2020 11:09 am

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