Uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is widespread. We investigate the timing and quantify the impact of COVID-19 related uncertainty on returns and volatility for regional market aggregates using ARCH/GARCH models. Drawing upon economic psychology, COVID-19 related uncertainty is measured by searches for information as reflected by Google search trends. Asian markets are more resilient than others. Latin American markets are most impacted in terms of returns and volatility. For most regions, there is evidence of an increasing impact of COVID-19 related uncertainty which dissipates as the crisis evolves. We confirm that Google search trends capture uncertainty by comparing this measure against alternative uncertainty measures.