PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More travelers are returning to the skies. If you haven’t traveled by air since the pandemic began, there are changes at security checkpoints that the Transportation Security Administration wants you to know about.
The busy travel season is approaching and TSA officials tell Eyewitness News the number of travelers at Philadelphia International Airport is already on the upswing.READ MORE: Mask Opt-Out Bill For Students Clears Pennsylvania Senate Committee
But, before you get to the gate, there are new changes at the security checkpoint you need to know.
To keep everyone safe, there are now acrylic barriers at points of interaction between passengers and TSA officers.
Everyone is required to wear a mask. It is a federal mandate and if you don’t have one and employees can’t find you one – you won’t be able to go through the screening process.
It’s always a good idea to bring an extra mask.
There is increased cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and antimicrobial bins are now being introduced.READ MORE: Small Wins: Philadelphia Man Overcame Life Struggles To Become Face Of Clothing Brand
Passengers can now carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in their carry-on and as many wipes as they’d like.
The idea is to minimize touchpoints, if possible, and try to throw everything in your bag to prevent having to put it in a bin.
The less clutter in your bag, the less reason for TSA to open it.
Travelers should come prepared. You can use the TSA app to find out what you can or cannot bring on the plane. Call them or your airline if there’s something you’re not sure about.
“It’s very important to know what you have in your bag,” an airport official said. “The less clutter in your bag, the less reason for TSA to open it, the less reason for us to touch and that includes food. Put it in a plastic bag so when you take it out it’s in plastic, you put it in the bin and there’s less reason for people to touch it.”MORE NEWS: Suspect Gilbert Newton III Testifies, Damning Texts Read During Trial In Murder Of Ex-Girlfriend Morgan McCaffrey
Even with the new protocols, TSA is working to make travel as seamless as possible. TSA officers will change gloves after each pat-down and also upon passenger request.