admin Posted: 2020-12-5 02:33:23
E79A56BC-96C2-4AE2-A299-7C92A81465A6.png Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.

Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Travelers are reminded to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)travel guidance as well as local and state advisories regarding COVID-19. Specifically, travelers are also encouraged to:

  • Maintain a social distance of six feet wherever possible while at the checkpoint.
  • Wear a face mask throughout your travel experience. You will be asked to adjust your mask for ID verification or if it alarms the security screening equipment. If you don’t have a face mask and you require a pat down, a TSA officer will offer one to you.
  • Remove belts and all personal items from your pockets such as wallets, keys or phones before you enter the checkpoint queue and place them in your carry-on bag.  (Does not apply to TSA PreCheck® members.)
  • Remove food items from carry-on bags and place in bin for screening. (Does not apply to TSA PreCheck® members.)
  • Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, including directly before and after completing the security screening process. If it is not possible to wash your hands, please use hand sanitizer.
  • Arrive at the airport early to allow adequate time for checking bags, completing security screening and getting to the departure gate. COVID-19 has affected staffing and operations across the airport environment, potentially adding time to your pre-flight experience.

Employees or travelers who believe they may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19 should consult with their healthcare provider. Employees or travelers who have tested positive for COVID-19 should seek medical attention and follow the guidance of their healthcare provider and local health department.

Passenger Volumes

Security Checkpoints
While security is TSA’s top priority, the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public is of utmost importance to us. TSA remains in close communication with medical professionals, the CDC, and various government agencies as we continue to carry out our important mission. Below are some adjustments TSA has made at security checkpoints to make the security screening process safer.

  • Social Distancing

TSA has implemented procedures to increase social distancing and reduce direct contact between our employees and the traveling public whenever possible – without compromising security. Adjustments include increasing distance between passengers as they enter the security checkpoint queue and throughout the screening process, placing visual reminders of appropriate spacing on checkpoint floors, and opening more checkpoint lanes where possible to reduce time spent in line.

  • Reduced Physical Contact

TSA is implementing a phased installation of acrylic barriers at various points throughout the checkpoint that require interaction between passengers and TSA officers. Travelers should keep possession of their boarding pass, place it on the document scanner and show the boarding pass to the TSA officer for visual inspection while at the travel document checking station.

  • Personal Protective Equipment

TSA officers are required to wear face mask and gloves. They may also choose to wear eye protection or clear plastic face shields. In addition, TSA officers change their gloves following each pat-down and upon passenger request.

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

TSA has increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces throughout the checkpoint including security screening equipment and bins. TSA officers are also required to change Explosives Trace Detection swabs after each use.

  • Medical Exemption for Hand Sanitizer

As a temporary exemption from the 3-1-1 rule, TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Since these containers exceed the standard allowance typically permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. This will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag. TSA’s special procedures for traveling with medication.

  • Touchless Technology

New technology continues to be a major priority for TSA. Here are just a few examples of technologies that are changing the way we do business: 1) Computed Tomography (CT) produces high-quality, 3-D images for a more thorough visual analysis of a bag’s contents. 2) Enhanced Advanced Imaging Technology (eAIT) safely screens passengers without physical contact for threats such as weapons and explosives, which may be hidden under a passenger’s clothing. 3) Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) machines automatically verify identification documents presented by passengers during the security screening process.

  • Expired Driver’s License and REAL ID Extension

If your driver's license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration.   DHS has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to October 1, 2021.Learn more about REAL ID on TSA’s REAL ID webpage.

TSA PreCheck®
TSA PreCheck® benefits are even more valuable in today’s travel climate. TSA PreCheck passengers spend less time waiting in line and keep their shoes, belts and jackets on during screening and laptops, 3-1-1 liquids and food in their carry-ons, reducing overall contact during screening. Visit TSA PreCheckto learn more.

Airport Closures and Flight Cancellations
TSA does not make decisions about flight cancellations or airport closures. These decisions are made locally, on a case-by-case basis, by individual airlines, airports and public health officials. Before traveling, passengers should check with their airline and airports of origin and destination for the latest information on closures and cancellations.

Supporting our Workforce
The health and safety of our frontline workforce is paramount to TSA. In addition to the measures taken to protect our frontline workforce from COVID-19 transmission, we are also using our unique authorities to provide them with the additional support and care they deserve during this unprecedented time. This includes:
  • Granting paid administrative leave or excused absences (rather than requiring use of personal leave) for those who are diagnosed with COVID-19, need to self-quarantine while awaiting a COVID-19 test result, or have had direct contact with an infected individual.
  • Providing for the maximum use of telework to promote social distancing.
  • Affording new protections and alternatives to employees who are members of vulnerable populations to fit their individual situations.
  • Expanding the availability of Emergency Paid Sick Leave to all TSA employees.
We will continuously evaluate and adapt our procedures and policies to keep our workforce safe as we learn more about this devastating disease and how it spreads.

International Travelers: Predeparture Testing Recommendations
Predeparture testing may detect travelers infected with SARS-CoV-2 before they initiate their travel. CDC recommends testing with a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or antigen test and receipt of results 1-3 days before departure for international travelers, particularly those traveling long-distance on public transportation conveyances, such as airplanes, buses or trains, or passing through transportation hubs such as airports where social distancing may be challenging, as a means to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when predeparture testing is combined with self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19, wearing masks, social distancing, andhand hygiene, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on conveyances and in transportation hubs.

CDC modeling indicates that predeparture testing is most effective when combined with self-monitoring (Johansson et al). Travel should be delayed (i.e., individuals should self-isolate) if symptoms develop or a pre-departure test result is positive. Testing before departure results in the greatest reduction of transmission risk during travel when the specimen is collected close to the time of departure. Earlier testing, i.e., more than 3 days before travel, provides little benefit beyond what self-monitoring alone can provide. Furthermore, a lower sensitivity test (e.g., antigen test) closer to the time of travel (i.e., with rapid availability of results) can be as effective as, or more effective than, a higher sensitivity NAAT (e.g., reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test [RT-PCR]) performed several days before travel. Predeparture testing should be completed and results provided to the traveler before travel is initiated. Travelers who test positive should remain in isolation and delay travel until they meet criteria for discontinuing isolation. Travelers whose test results are not available before departure should delay their travel until results are available.

CDC modeling indicates that testing on the day of travel provides the greatest reduction in transmission risk while traveling (Johansson et al). However, for logistical reasons (e.g., rebooking of travel and avoiding potential exposures in airport terminals where social distancing may be challenging), CDC recommends departing air travelers get tested before they initiate travel, rather than at the airport immediately prior to their flight. Testing is being offered at a number of airports, both domestically and internationally, and many air travelers are choosing to get tested in airports because of convenience and ease of access. If testing is offered in airport settings, all results (positive or negative) must be reported in real time to the health department of jurisdiction, and positive results in departing air travelers should be reported immediately to both the local health department and the CDC quarantine station of jurisdiction. Ideally, travelers’ consent should also be obtained before testing to notify the airline of a positive result. Plans should also be in place to prevent travel of persons who test positive and their travel companions, who in most cases would be considered close contacts, including request by the health department to CDC for use of federal public health travel restrictions and denial of boarding by the airline (see section below). Testing sites should also have plans to manage individuals who test positive and their travel companions, including temporary isolation or quarantine and safe private transportation home that does not involve public transportation.

Should I wear a mask to the TSA checkpoint?
Yes, you should wear a face mask throughout your travel experience. You will be asked to adjust your mask for ID verification or if it alarms the security screening equipment. If you don’t have a face mask and you require a pat down, a TSA officer will offer one to you.

Can I request that TSA officers use new gloves and swabs during screening?
Yes. TSA always requires that frontline personnel wear nitrile gloves when conducting screening duties, and travelers may request new gloves be used during the screening process. TSA has also directed officers to change explosive detection swabs after each use.

My driver’s license has expired and I can’t get it renewed during the pandemic. Will I still be able to fly?
Yes. If your driver's license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs for 1 year after expiration.

Can I still enroll in or renew my TSA PreCheck® membership during the pandemic?
Yes, you can still enroll in TSA PreCheck® or renew your existing membership to enjoy a security screening experience with the most convenience and least amount of physical contact. Applying for TSA PreCheck® is quick and easy. Enrolling involves completing a short, 5-minute online application and a 10-minute fingerprinting appointment at one of our 400+ enrollment centers. Most applicants receive their Known Traveler Number within a week.  Renewing is even easier and most members can renew entirely online. Visit to learn more.

Are TSA PreCheck® lanes still available during the pandemic?
Yes, TSA PreCheck® lanes are still open. Use the MyTSA app or click hereto find availability. If a dedicated lane is not available at your departure airport, just show your boarding pass with the TSA PreCheck® indicator to receive expedited screening in a standard lane.

Where can I find the numbers of passengers screened by TSA?
The daily checkpoint travel numbers for 2019 and 2020 national passenger volume numbers are available here. This webpage is updated daily by 9 a.m. Eastern time. The statistics are current as of the time posted. Because this data is considered preliminary, it may be adjusted later and will differ from the final screening statistics that are available on the TSA FOIA Electronic Reading Room.

Is TSA conducting temperature checks at security checkpoints?
TSA has not conducted and is not conducting temperature checks on air travelers. The federal government’s interagency position and guidance on temperature checks is available in the Runway to Recovery, page 21, and was jointly developed by the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.


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