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The TSA announced they will be implementing five changes to how travelers proceed through airport security as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Business Insider, the TSA announced several changes to the airport screening process, but drew the line at mandatory passenger temperature screenings as part of their new protocol.
“In the interest of TSA frontline workers and traveler health, TSA is committed to making prudent changes to our screening processes to limit physical contact and increase physical distance as much as possible,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a press release, reported by Business Insider. “We continue to evaluate our security measures with an eye towards making smart, timely decisions benefiting health and safety, as well as the traveler experience.”
Travelers can expect the following changes at airports nationwide starting in mid-June.
According to Business Insider, the changes are:
1. Passengers will keep possession of their boarding passes, rather than handing them to a screener. Passengers will be asked to place the passes on the barcode scanner themselves, and to hold them up for screeners to read.
2. People traveling with food should place it into a plastic bag, and should put it in a separate bin before it goes through the X-ray machine. According to the TSA, food items “often trigger an alarm during the screening process; separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection.”
3. While passengers can continue to take up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through checkpoints, other liquids are still restricted to 3.4 ounces. If a bag is found to contain a prohibited item, passengers may be sent outside of security with their bag to dispose of the item, instead of opening their bag and having it inspected by a screener. This is to reduce contact between screeners and bags’ contents.
4. The TSA will ask passengers to practice social distance while in line for security, and will start marking appropriate spacing on the floor, as well as staggering checkpoints where possible.
5. Passengers are encouraged to wear facial coverings while in the airport and at security, though may need to briefly pull it down to be identified at the screening checkpoint. US airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks while on board.