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Google Maps listings will display ‘temporarily closed’ warning during coronavirus outbreak

Published Mar 26th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
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Image: XanderSt/Shutterstock
  • Google Maps now lets business owners update their listings with ‘temporarily closed’ warnings.
  • The feature can be very helpful when planning trips to stores during the coronavirus outbreak, as it’ll let people know if some of their favorite places are closed during lockdowns and quarantines.
  • Similar listings may also be displayed inside Search and Maps for other locations, as Google is also using data from governments and other sources to update opening hours for various businesses.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

You may be going insane from the prolonged isolation, but staying safe indoors is a lot better than having to deal with the unpredictable novel coronavirus infection. COVID-19 kills predominantly men and especially old people who have one or multiple health conditions. But we’re seeing plenty of reports detailing unexpected deaths from other age categories. Even those who will eventually recover might experience more severe phases of the illness before their immune system prevails. Staying home is the best thing you can do to keep yourself everyone else safe. If you have to go out, you should plan ahead every trip so that you’re as efficient and reliable as possible. Make shopping lists for groceries and essentials, use hand sanitizers while you’re out, and wear masks if and when you can. Before you leave your home, you might want to check with Google Maps, too, as the app can give you detailed information about the stores you were planning on hitting. The app rolled out additional features a few weeks ago to allow business owners to edit their listings in light of the imminent coronavirus outbreak. And now, the app will tell you if a store is temporarily closed.

Google announced recently that it will use data from governments and other authoritative sources inside Search and Maps to tell people whether a location is temporarily closed. The feature has now been added to Google Maps, 9to5Google explains, so that business owners can update their listings themselves.

Google listed a help page to assist business owners who might be looking to tell their customers that their businesses will be temporarily closed during the outbreak. The entire process is straightforward, and all you have to do to mark your business as temporarily closed is to sign in to Google My Business, go to the Info menu and search for the Close this business on Google.

Business owners who have been forced to close their stores because of the COVID-19 outbreak should use it to warn customers not to venture out to their location. The less time you spend outdoors, the safer you’ll be, so there’s no point driving or walking to any business that’s not opened.

While we’re at it, Google Maps can also help you find restaurants that deliver food during the outbreak, a feature that could further reduce your trips outside. Finally, Google Maps will also display COVID-19 warnings when you’re searching for hospitals or doctors.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.