Google Maps is getting a holiday-focused update that will see the app provide more detailed information as it pertains to COVID-19 cases in a specific area.

This new layer to the COVID-19 tool in Maps is designed with overcrowding in mind, which remains a concern for many as social distancing regulations will prove harder to enforce during the festive season.

“We’re rolling out two new improvements in the coming weeks. The updated COVID layer on Android and iOS will soon show more information, including all-time detected cases in an area, along with quick links to COVID resources from local authorities,” writes Google in a blog post regarding the update.

“This is especially handy if you’re heading out of town and need to get up to speed about the local guidelines, testing sites and restrictions in another city,” it adds.

As you can see in the header above, the improvements to the COVID layer will see areas being colour coded in terms of the number of cases it has reported since the pandemic began, ranging from grey to dark red in terms of the volume.

It should therefore serve as an easy to understand indicator for those planning to travel during the holidays, which is now more freely permitted given the changes to South Africa’s level 1 lockdown regulations.

Whether people will make use of such a tool to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, however, is another matter altogether.

Naturally with Google being an American company, the US is the first to receive this update. It is also receiving it first as Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

There is no specific date listed for this Google Maps update for other parts of the world, but it is earmarked to be available globally.