Security Screening Updates

Important Security Screening Updates

Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports across the U.S. have changed to protect passenger and worker health during the pandemic. The TSA has adapted its protocols to accommodate social distancing, face coverings and other measures intended to keep airports and air travel as healthy as possible.

If you are traveling, please review these updates before going to the airport:

Pack food/snacks in a separate clear plastic bag. Passengers should pack their carry-on food items in a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin for scanning. Food can trigger an alarm during the screening process, typically requiring an officer to open a bag and remove the food for inspection. This new requirement reduces the possibility of that interaction, keeps food items in a sanitary container and the passenger and officer a safe social distance apart. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.

Hold your boarding pass. Travelers do not need to hand their boarding passes to TSA officers in the security line. Travelers can scan their paper or electronic passes themselves and then hold them up for the officer to visually inspect. This eliminates a touchpoint that could transmit COVID-19 or any other viruses.

Larger sanitizer allowed. While the rule prohibiting items such as liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces is still in place, TSA is now allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Travelers must remove the hand sanitizer from their bags before they’re scanned.

Maintain social distancing while in checkpoint line. Travelers should see TSA agents practicing social distancing as much as possible and are asked to do the same at security checkpoints.

Wear face coverings. PIT, other airports and airlines have mandated wearing of masks and face coverings by all staff and visitors. This includes TSA officers at checkpoints. However, passengers are allowed to temporarily move and adjust their masks during the screening process if necessary. Travelers are also encouraged to remove items such as belts, wallets, keys and phones and put them directly into their carry-on bags instead of into the bins to reduce touchpoints.

Physical changes for safety. Travelers will see new elements at the checkpoint designed to preserve the health and safety of them and TSA officers. A reduced number of lanes, plastic shields at interaction points, floor decals for social distancing and more have been added recently.

Everyone can do their part by taking steps to help stop the spread of germs. Good hygiene and frequent hand washing are the simplest ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. For the most complete and up-to-date information, please visit: CDC.GOV. For the latest information on confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Pittsburgh region, please continue to follow the Allegheny County Health Department.

Safe Travels boosts health and safety measures already in place throughout the facilities, and will help increase confidence in air travel through enhanced protocols that outline best practices for reducing the spread of germs. For more information on Safe Travels, click here.