TSA Adding Extra Health, Safety Guidelines Ahead of Summer Travel

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced changes to the security screening process to prevent cross-contamination at the checkpoints between employees and travelers.

As a reduced number of airline passengers prepare to fly during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the TSA has already started implementing the changes and plans to have airport checkpoints nationwide up-to-date by mid-June.

While the number of travelers is drastically lower than it was in year’s previous, TSA officials has experienced a steady growth of travelers coming through airport checkpoints in recent weeks.

“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,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “We continue to evaluate our security measures with an eye towards making smart, timely decisions benefiting health and safety, as well as the traveler experience.”

Travelers should expect several new procedure changes, including being asked to scan their own boarding passes, separate food for X-ray screening, pack carefully to avoid slowing down screening process, practice social distancing and wear facial protection.

Airline passengers who have not flown since the viral pandemic began are also likely to notice some other changes, such as reduced security lane usage, some TSA agents wearing eye protection, plastic shielding at document checking podiums and routine disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces.

A study from earlier this month found that over half of American travelers want to make their first trip (once it’s appropriate to travel again) a domestic visit to reunite with friends and family, following so much self-isolation.

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TSA Reports Highest Number of Screenings Since March

Just days after the TSA reported a significant increase in passenger screenings on Sunday, a new record has been set. On April 30, the TSA recorded 154,695 passengers, the highest amount since March 29, which recorded over 180,000 screenings.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
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The increase marks a substantial uptick for the month of April, which has seen the lowest numbers of passenger screenings since the coronavirus pandemic began. Sunday, April 26, was originally considered April’s highest day with 128,875 screenings.

According to Fox News, the increasing number of travelers may be attributed to some states loosening their shelter-in-place orders. Even April 29 showed improvement with 119,629 passenger screenings.

Despite the increase, the average daily screenings are significantly fewer than in 2019. On April 30, 2019, the TSA screened 2,499,461 passengers. This year’s daily screenings can be compared to last year’s through the TSA’s public logs.

While the month of April finished strong after weeks of passenger traffic hovering around 90,000 – low 100,000s, it is still too early to determine if the trend will continue into May, with many travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies still in place.

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TSA Lends Helping Hand to Airport Employees Impacted by Coronavirus

Transportation Security Administration officers in Wisconsin are stepping up to help airport workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Agents at Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport have launched a new program dubbed “TSA Gives Back” that provides free lunches for airport workers who have seen their paychecks reduced.

While the TSA Gives Back program is voluntary, the vast majority of officers contributed money to cover the cost of providing meals for around 90 airport employees who have seen their pay shrink as a result of the reduced number of travelers.

Airline employees from American, Delta and United, as well as workers at rental car locations inside the facility, were provided lunches by the TSA, including pizza, salads, garlic bread, chocolate cake, soda and cookies.

[email protected] officers at @GRBairport chipped in to pay for free lunches for other airport workers in the terminal who have seen their hours and pay reduced due to COVID-19. The details: https://t.co/EfAdxO1P1Q pic.twitter.com/tmeb7mkB96

TSA agents working at Green Bay–Austin Straubel International wanted to give back to other employees at the airport after they had previously supported the TSA when officers worked without paychecks during the government furlough in 2019.

TSA Manager Tim Marien said airline and car rental employees were “surprised and grateful for the support.” The agency also acknowledged it followed proper social distancing while delivering the meals.

The employees are seeing their hours and salaries cut as the TSA announced the number of people traveling by plane hit a 10-year low.

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