coronavirus pandemic

Traveling By Air? There Are New TSA Policies

NBC 7 Responds looked at some of the new policies in place at airports around the country

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an effect on airport security, so don't be surprised when you notice some changes.

In the month of April, there were only around 3 million people flying, compared with more than 75 million people in April of 2019. Fortunately for travelers, that reduction in traffic can contribute additional time when going through checkpoints where the TSA is enforcing social distancing, with markers on the ground to help keep people spaced out.

The TSA, which is urging people to wear face masks and to stay home if they feel sick at all, will not be handling boarding passes. Instead, travelers will scan the passes themselves. In addition, TSA agents will accept expired licenses or IDs through March of next year for all passengers whose state DMV office was closed due to the pandemic. And while containers of liquids still need to hold less than 3.4 ounces, that rule does not apply to hand sanitizers; a single bottle holding up to 12 ounces is permitted.

Also, travelers pulled aside for extra screening are allowed to ask the TSA agent to put on a fresh pair of gloves.

Most of these policies are already in place at airports across the country, but be sure to look into the policies of each airport you will fly through -- there may be slight differences.

Read more about the TSA's approach to fighting the coronavirus here.

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