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Yelp launches new feature that displays user feedback on local businesses' COVID-19 practices

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Posted at 7:55 PM, Jan 17, 2021

Yelp is taking the next steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with their new feature that will now display user feedback on the healthy and safety practices of local businesses.

Yelp will now display if users observed, or did not observe, the enforcement of social distancing and staff wearing masks at the local businesses.

Last summer, the company revamped their COVID-19 section to allow businesses to add information about their updated service offerings and specific health and safety precautions. According to data reported by Yelp, the company saw a 41% consumer interest increase after adding COVID-19 business updates between September 1 and December 31, 2020.

Yelp has also added new service offerings and health and safety practices, including “heated outdoor seating,” “1:1 sessions available,” and “disposable or contactless menu.”

To ensure feedback is fairly represented the following criteria must be made before display:

  • The business must receive several user responses with consensus from multiple users on whether or not social distancing is being consistently enforced or if staff are regularly seen wearing masks.
  • Only Yelp users who are logged into their account may provide feedback on a business’s health and safety practices.
  • To ensure feedback displayed is based on recent visits to the business, user responses are evaluated daily and only user responses received within the previous 28 days are counted.
  • For businesses with multiple locations or franchises, user feedback will only be counted and displayed on the business page for the relevant location.

A green check mark listed by a business indicates, “Social distancing enforced according to most users” or “Staff wears masks according to most users” when the majority of responses from users indicate that these measures are being enforced. An orange question mark indicates, “Social distancing might not be enforced according to most users” or, “Staff might not wear masks according to most users.

Yelp says user generated feedback will be available for restaurants, food, nightlife, retail and beauty businesses, and businesses in the automotive, professional and local services sectors.

Users can share feedback via survey questions or through the “Edit” icon that appears in the top right of the COVID-19 updates section. This separate tool allows users to provide more information on a business’s health and safety practices, as well as additional information on how the business is currently operating.

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