Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, air flights have been strongly discouraged. But now that the travel industry is starting to regain its operations, strict travel and prevention guidance should be followed.
The following tips given by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) reminders to protect ourselves against this novel coronavirus:
Practice good hygiene
You should always be in charge of your own sanitation like washing and sanitizing your hands before and after completing security screening processes. TSA allows 12-ounces of hand sanitizer in carry-on bags until further notice. This is much more than the usual 3.4-ounce allowance. But for gels and aerosols, the normal 3.4-ounce allowance still applies.
You are also allowed to bring individually-packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes. Got a hand wipes on a jumbo container? Sure, you can also bring that one in your carry-on or checked luggage.
Empty your pockets
Before submitting yourself to security checkpoints or screeners, you are advised to place your personal items such as wallets, keys, tissue, phone, or anything else that is inside your pocket. This prevents you from placing them in bins, which in turn could avoid cross-contamination from other passengers.
Scan your own boarding pass
Rather than handing your boarding pass to the agents or airport employees, just scan it yourself. Make sure to secure a printed copy or an electronic copy of it ahead of time and place it somewhere highly accessible to you.
Separate your food
Food items often trigger the alarms of airport scanners. So instead of putting it in your carry-on bag, have your food placed on a clear plastic bag and place it on the bin for screening. This way, it’ll be easier for the officers to check and at the same time reduces any further contact of your belongings.
Wear a face mask
Wearing a face mask has become the new normal during this pandemic. This is very important especially during traveling for you are highly exposed to other possible carriers of the virus. But during the screening process, a TSA officer may ask you to adjust your mask to confirm your identity. In which case, carefully do it and make sure to sanitize your hands after doing so.
Follow social distancing protocols
TSA has implemented strict social distancing protocols to minimize people’s contact without compromising security. This practice obviously requires bigger space and longer queues so expect that getting ahead the line is not as fast as before.
To save yourself from the worries of catching your flight on time, you can possibly use TSA pre-screen option. Aside from that, you may consider booking an online airport parking platform to ensure your car’s space and safety while you travel. Make sure to book ahead to enjoy cheap airport parking fees.
Consult a healthcare provider if needed
If you believe you have come in close contact with a probable carrier of the virus, or worse, you’re already experiencing obvious symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare provider to ensure your safety and the ones around you. If you feel sick stay home and quarantine for 14 days. You can always reschedule your travel plans.
You can still use your expired IDs
If you’re worried that your driver’s license or state-issued ID has already expired, don’t panic. You are still allowed to use these expired IDs as long as they have lapsed on or after March 1, 2020. Also, take note that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had announced the extension of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license until October 1, 2021.
The six tips above are just some of the safety reminders to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. For more information, you can visit TSA’s security screening process here: www.tsa.gov/coronavirus.