As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the Transportation Security Agency announced Thursday several minor changes to the agency’s security screening process.
“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,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
As a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19, passengers will no longer hand their boarding passes to TSA officers. Rather, passengers will be asked to place their boarding pass — paper or electronic — on the boarding pass reader themselves.
Passengers are also being asked to place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag that will be placed into a bin during the screening process.
“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,” a press release explained.
Additionally, if a traveler’s bag is flagged by officers during the screening process, TSA may now redirect the traveler outside of the security line to remove the item themselves. The bag would then be subject to a subsequent screening.
The TSA will also place visual reminders on the floor to remind travelers to maintain proper spacing while in the line for security.
As of March, passengers are permitted to carry on a 12-ounce container of hand sanitizer, a shift from past TSA protocol that only permitted less than 3.4 ounces of a liquid or gel.
More information on TSA screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on their website.