Google Maps is now reminding users to wear a mask before leaving the house due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A banner that reads “Wear a Mask. Save Lives” appears on the Maps’ ‘Explore’ tab if you’re on an Android smartphone. Though this may depend on where you are. Currently, I don’t see the banner on my device, but being in Ontario, where COVID numbers are on the decline, might be the cause of that. Instead, I have a banner that reads “Support local businesses,” which leads to smaller businesses in the area.
Whereas in the U.S., where cases are higher this banner appears — it also means if numbers in Canada get worse we might start seeing this banner too. When looking at the U.S., from Canada, it warns that the borders might be closed due to the pandemic, but it still doesn’t offer the same banner.
Reportedly this banner sports an animation of a woman putting on her face mask and a ‘Learn More’ option that takes you to Google’s COVID-19 safety tips page that offers information from the CDC.
According to 9to5Google, this feature is only available for U.S. Android users, but it still doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing this sometime in the future. It’s also odd that it hasn’t rolled out for iOS users as well.
Hopefully, we keep numbers low enough that we don’t have to see this message.