New TSA Guidelines
The Transportation Security Administration known as TSA has just released updated security procedures to reduce cross-contamination at security checkpoints at airports in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. These procedures will be implemented nationwide by mid.-June. The TSA has recently seen an uptick in travelers going through airport checkpoints and travelers can expect the following procedures to be rolled out.
Keep possession of boarding pass - Instead of handing your boarding pass to a TSA officer, passengers should place their boarding pass on the boarding pass reader themselves. After scanning the boarding pass, passengers should hold up the boarding pass so the TSA officer can inspect it visually.
Separate food for X-ray screening - Food sometimes sets off alarms during screening. In order to minimize contact, food should be placed in a clear plastic bag and put into a bin for screening. Screening food separately lessens the likelihood of baggage inspection by a TSA officer and reduces cross-contamination and encourages social distancing.
Pack Smart - Passengers should take extra care not to pack items such as liquids, gels, and aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces in their carry on bag. If a prohibited item is found passengers will be directed to the divestiture table to remove and discard the prohibited item and, then go back through security screening.
Hand Sanitizer Limits - TSA is allowing passengers to carry on one liquid hand sanitizer container that is up to 12 ounces.
Social Distancing - Passengers are expected to practice social distancing to reduce contact between other passengers and TSA officials. Visual reminders will be placed on the floor leading to the security screening process.
Wear Facial Protection - TSA officers are wearing facial protection and gloves at all checkpoints and travelers are encouraged to wear face protection as well. They may have to be adjusted during the screening process.
What to Put in Carry On Bags - Passengers should put belts, wallets, keys, phones and other items from their pockets into their carry on bags rather than in the bins during the screening process.
Additional Changes @ Security Check Points
- TSA officers are wearing masks and gloves. At some airports, they are wearing clear plastic face shields.
- TSA officers will change gloves after each pat-down.
- There is routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in the screening checkpoint area.
- Plastic shields have been installed at many travel document podiums and other areas.
- TSA officers are practicing social distancing.
- There is reduced security lane usage because of the reduction in passenger volume.
- Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport early because of the new procedures.