MIAMI – Even though air traffic is way down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration says there has been a steady increase in the number of travelers coming through airport checkpoints over the last couple weeks.
That’s why the agency is taking steps to reduce the amount of times TSA agents have to touch travelers’ personal belongings.
Beginning in mid-June, travelers will have to place their boarding pass directly onto the boarding pass reader to be scanned, then show it to the TSA officer for visual inspection.
Carry-on food must be in a clear plastic bag and placed in a bin, whereas before, this was optional.
And one 12-ounce hand sanitizer bottle is allowed as a carry-on, despite the rule that you can’t bring liquid bottles larger than 3.4 ounces.
“I worried, because I thought they were going to take [my hand sanitizer] but they didn’t. They checked it and it was clear and I was able to take it,” said traveler Abby Eunis. “I think its awesome what they’re doing and how they’re adjusting and adapting.”
To encourage social distancing, visual markers may be placed on the ground.
All TSA officers will wear masks, gloves and in some cases, face shields.
There will also be more plastic shielding throughout the airport and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
If you’re flying out, the TSA wants you to wear a mask and get to the airport early so you have time to check your bags and get screened because the pandemic has affected airport staffing and operations.
The TSA also wants you to check with your airline for specific coronavirus-related guidance before coming to the airport.