As COVID 19 continues to heavily wreak havoc on the lives and minds of the general public and most of all travelers, we must keep in mind that hopefully this pandemic will meet its demise very soon. And when that finally happens, TSA understands the importance of ensuring that travelers get to their destinations as secure and safe as possible. Thankfully, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel and prevention guidance recommendations was provided as a reminder for travelers to follow regarding COVID-19. In addition to those CDC recommendations, there are a few TSA rules that I’m pretty sure you won’t want to forget after the pandemic.
Rule #1: Social Distance Makes A Difference
TSA has implemented procedures to decrease direct contact and increase social distancing between the traveling public and employees. And while doing so, making sure not to compromise security. So as you enter security checkpoints, make sure to look for visual reminders like appropriate spacing on the floors and metering passengers to increase distance between individuals.
Rule # 2: Always Keep Clean and Protected
Travelers are advised to wash their hands directly before and after the security screening process. Along with this recommendation, TSA has issued guidelines to all frontline employees to do routine cleaning and disinfecting of all security screening equipment at TSA security checkpoints and surfaces that have been frequently touched. Also, since TSA officers at checkpoints are now using face coverings, passengers are also encouraged to wear a mask. And upon passenger’s request, TSA has to use a fresh pair of gloves so to be on the safe side you might as well put on a pair of gloves yourself to prevent direct contact with surfaces.
Rule # 3: Do It Yourself
In order to curb the spread of COVID 19, TSA has recently added new rules. Now passengers will need to scan their own boarding passes, remove prohibited items from their bags and separate their carry-on food items for screening themselves. All great ideas to limit direct contact between the agents and passengers. When boarding the plane, you will now be asked to scan your paper or electronic boarding pass on the boarding pass reader yourself. After scanning, you will need to hold up your boarding pass so that the TSA officer can do a visual inspection. As far as carry-on food items, they must remain in a clear plastic bag then placed into a bin at the checkpoint. In addition, any liquid items that are greater than 3.4 oz should be removed from your carry-on before getting to the security checkpoint. However, the TSA is now allowing for passengers to carry-on one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger. But keep in mind the hand sanitizer should be removed from your carry-on before x-ray screening.
According to the TSA website, TSA has had nearly 600 employees that have tested positive for COVID 19 and sadly 6 have died as a result of the virus. So even when the pandemic is over, we have to do our part as the general public and still take precautions when needed to make sure that we are safe as well as others around us and in order to do so it’s important to always remember to follow TSA rules when traveling.
Written by: Laura Yarborough
Photos courtesy of click2houston.com, boston.cbslocal.com, dailymail.co.uk, forbes.com