TSA Security Checkpoint
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the agency’s new “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign.
The campaign focuses on airport checkpoint modifications to help contain the spread of COVID-19, comply with CDC guidelines and support healthy and secure summer travel to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Throughout the month of June, TSA has seen an increase in the number of individuals coming through airport checkpoints and is monitoring the growth closely for staffing and security purposes.
“Throughout the pandemic our TSA officers have been vigilant in their security mission, continuing to focus on security measures while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks,” said TSA Federal Security Director Karen Keys-Turner. “Passengers will see TSA officers changing gloves after each pat-down and using a fresh swab when checking for explosive material.”
TSA Checkpoint Procedures:
- Travelers are allowed to wear masks during the screening process, but a TSA officer may ask the traveler to adjust the mask to visually confirm their identity during the travel document checking process or if the mask triggers an alarm during the scanning process.
- TSA personnel wear nitrile gloves when conducting screening duties and are required to use swabs when testing for explosive material. Travelers may request for new gloves to be used during the screening process.
- TSA has directed officers to use a fresh swab for each passenger when testing for explosive material.
- TSA also conducts routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the TSA checkpoint.
- TSA installed Plexiglas shields at travel document checking stations to help protect workers and passengers by reducing the opportunity for cross-contamination.
- Travelers are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and wash their hands before and after completing the security screening process.
- Travelers should place personal items such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues and cell phones in their carry-on bags to be screened. This minimizes the placing of personal items in a bin that you might hold to your face such as lip balm, tissues, cell phones.
- Travelers are permitted to bring individually packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage. TSA is also allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Since these containers are larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to your checkpoint experience.
- Instead of handing your boarding pass to a TSA officer at the travel document podium, you will be asked to place your boarding pass (paper or electronic) on the boarding pass reader yourself. After scanning, you should hold your boarding pass toward the TSA officer to allow the officer to visually inspect it. This change reduces the TSA officer’s need to touch a passenger’s boarding pass thus reducing potential for cross-contamination.
- Passengers will need to place their carry-on food items into a bin. It is recommended to place the food into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin instead of placing food directly into the bin. 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. This requirement allows social distancing, reduces the TSA officer’s need to touch a person’s container of food and reduces potential for cross-contamination. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.
- If a traveler has any prohibited items, such as liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces, in their carry-on bags (water bottles, shampoo) passengers may be directed to return to the divestiture table outside of security with their carry-on bags to remove the item and dispose of the item, passenger may also be directed back outside of security to remove items that should have originally been divested and resubmit their property for X-ray screening. By resolving alarms in this manner, TSA officers will need to touch the contents inside a carry-on bag much less frequently, reducing the potential for cross-contamination.