You may notice new security measures before boarding your next flight.
It’s already underway at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
The Transportation Security Administration has begun implementation of these new procedures across the country to reduce cross-contamination at security checkpoints.
Even though travel numbers are dramatically down compared to last year, TSA reports that there has been a slight uptick this week, with a jump from over 230,000 to more than 318,000 travelers leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
As the numbers continue to rise, commuters should expect the following:
Keep boarding passes on hand. You can forget about handing over your ticket to an agent. Passengers will now be required to place paper or electronic boarding passes on ticket readers themselves.
Separate food for X-ray screening. You’ll have to put carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin. That would allow TSA workers easy access to view the contents without the risk of spread.
Pack smart. Many of the post-9/11 requirements are still in play. However, TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container with up to 12 ounces per passenger.
Practice social distancing to limit direct contact with others.
Wear a mask. All TSA workers will be wearing them and so should you. Travelers can count on routine cleaning and disinfecting surfaces within the screening checkpoint area.
Finally, keep in mind that airlines may have additional safety guidelines in place. So as always, check with your carrier and allow plenty of extra travel time. These changes are slated to go into effect nationwide by mid-June.