A number of changes are being made to Pokemon Go in order to help keep people play at home due to COVID-19, aka coronavirus.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic told Polygon that they are changes various mechanics in order to increase the safety of their players. The company stated that they are currently "prioritizing updates to Pokemon Go features and experiences that can be enjoyed inindividual settings." The game is helping trainers see more monsters while playing closer to home.
Incense packs will see alterations. They will go on a 99% discount, and will last one hour instead of 30 minutes. Incubators will also be seeing changes by altering the number of steps needed to hatch eggs. According to Niantic, eggs will hatch twice as fast. Finally, PokeStops will drop Gifts with more frequency. All of these effects have been put into effect already, and will continue until "further notice."
In order to accommodate players, the Special Raid weekends for Cobalion and Lugia have been extended to give players more time to catch them. Cobalion will now be available in the game from March 17-23, and will know the move Sacred Sword. Lugia will be catchable from March 24-31, and will know the move Aeroblast. There is also the chance that either Pokemon can be shiny.
Niantic has also announced that the Abra Community Day has been postponed in order to help reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. Also, Pokemon habitats will increase and more Pokemon will show up in the wild, helping players stay as close to home as possible.
"While we've made these updates based on the current global health situation, we also encourage players to make decisions on where to go and what to do that are in the best interest of their health and the health of their communities," Niantic told Polygon.