You can't tell whether a business is open or closed due to the viral spread and the lockdown restrictions enforced on over 3 billion worldwide.
Now, to tackle this problem, Google is bringing the ability to mark businesses as 'temporarily closed' on Maps.
Here's all about it.
Ability to mark 'temporarily closed'
As promised by the internet giant, business owners can guide their customers correctly by updating their listings with a new 'temporarily closed' option introduced in the My Business Portal.
Once you choose this, the business location associated with your account would become 'temporarily closed', with the change appearing to anyone who looks up for your business via Google Maps or Google Search.
How to use the new option
In order to use the new option, visit this page and sign in to your Google My Business account.
After login, click on the 'Info' button in the menu on the left, head over to the "Close this business on Google" section on the right.
Now, tap on the arrow to expand the section and select "Mark as temporarily closed."
Option now rolling out for businesses
The new option has started rolling out and should become available to all My Business users around the world in the coming days.
It could come handy in keeping your customers informed about the exact status - open/closed - of your business during this pandemic and save them from venturing out unnecessarily to buy some products from your outlet.
Only for those closing entirely
That said, it's imperative to note that the option should be used by only those who are closing their business entirely due to COVID-19, not those who are running it for limited hours. Google also says it will use government/authoritative sources to update listings online.
So far, COVID-19 has killed over 20,000 people worldwide
The development from Google comes as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in different countries, as well as impacting their economies.
The disease started spreading from the Chinese city of Wuhan and has killed over 20,000 people and infected nearly 4,70,000 around the world.
In India alone, the number of infections stands close to 700 at the time of writing.