Regulations Updated to Reduce Physical Contact During Airport Screenings
(Montgomery, Alabama) – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials announce new screening procedures to go into effect by mid-June. These procedures will minimize physical contact between agents and passengers.
The updated procedures are as follows:
- TSA officials will no longer handle boarding passes. Passengers will touch their own paper or electronic boarding passes to the code reader. They will also be asked to hold it for the officer to inspect.
- TSA recommends that food items be placed in a clear plastic bag, and taken out of other bags, before being placed in a bin for inspection. The TSA explains: “Food items often trigger an alarm during the screening process; separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection.”
- TSA advises passengers to be extra vigilant about prohibited items. While travelers have long been asked not to bring liquids in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces, the TSA says that it’s even more important to follow these guidelines now so officers can “touch the contents inside a carry-on bag much less frequently.” If there are prohibited items, passengers may be asked to remove the items themselves and return through security after throwing them out.
- Up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer will be permitted through security, but TSA asks that it be removed from carry-on bags before screening.
- Passengers need to practice physical distancing by utilizing markings located in the TSA checkpoint. Montgomery Regional Airport has social distancing floor markers placed at the TSA checkpoint to guide and keep individuals at least six feet apart from each other.
- TSA officers at checkpoints will wear face masks and gloves, and travelers are encouraged to wear face masks. TSA officers will also change gloves after each pat-down search of a passenger. Some agents may choose to wear eye protection or clear plastic face shields.
- Travelers should put loose items in carry-on bags rather than in bins. Keeping items such as keys and phones out of the bins will “reduce touch-points during the screening process,” TSA says.
- Passengers should arrive at MGM within 1.5 hours of flights for screening. The TSA announcement notes that while low passenger volume has allowed travelers to arrive shortly before their scheduled departure time in recent months, the new procedures and reduced staffing at airports may require extra time for checking in and screening. The TSA checkpoint will open one hour and thirty minutes before each flight.
All TSA recommendations for luggage and personal items do not apply to TSA Pre-Check travelers.
Montgomery Regional Airport offers non-stop flights to Atlanta, Georgia (ATL); Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT); and Dallas, Texas (DFW). MGM serves the region with four daily flights by American and Delta. For more information on the airport, visit flymgm.com.