Some frontline workers fighting COVID-19 have opted to live apart from their families during this time of crisis. Google is trying to make it easier for them to find accommodations to remain in isolation and keep their families protected from risk of infection.
On Thursday, Google announced new search features designed to help healthcare professionals and other essential workers find hotels offering special accommodations for COVID-19 responders, such as free or discounted rooms.
Richard Holden, VP of product management for travel at Google, said some hotels are offering the service to reduce the risk of first responders bringing home the disease to their family. Holden points to an Intensive Care Unit nurse, Meghan, who is treating COVID-19 patients in Indiana, and writes in a post that reducing the risk for her family members gives her peace of mind.
The search features are filters and tips across Search, Maps, and Hotel Search. When someone searches for a hotel on Google Search or Google Maps, they will see new tips indicating the properties that have special policies for COVID-19 responders, as well as a new filter to show only those hotels with such policies.
“On Google Maps and google.com/travel, a tip will appear at the top of the results if hotels in the area have a special policy for frontline workers,” Holden writes.
As on Google Search, there is a new filter for COVID-19 responder rooms identifying participating hotels. COVID-19 responders can then call the hotel directly to learn more about its policies and book.
Participating hotel owners can update their discounts and/or special accommodations by signing into Google My Business and adding the attribute to their Business Profile.