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Tampa International, TSA enhance safety protocols ahead of Memorial Day weekend

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Posted at 8:11 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 08:11:52-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa International Airport says safety procedures are being enhanced in anticipation of more travelers over the Memorial Day weekend.

According to a press release, travelers should expect to arrive two hours early and be prepared for the following list of procedural changes.

  • Hold on to your boarding pass: Travelers will place their boarding pass onto the reader for the TSA officer then present it for visual inspection, reducing the officers’ need to touch it and preventing cross-contamination.
  • Face coverings: TSA officers at the screening checkpoint are now wearing face masks and all travelers are encouraged to do the same. You may be required to adjust your mask during the screening process.
  • Plan ahead to reduce touchpoints: Travelers are encouraged to remove items such as belts, and items from their pockets, like wallets, keys and phones, and put them directly into their carry-on bags instead of into the bins to reduce touchpoints during the screening process.
  • Rules on prohibited items and large electronics still apply: The 3-1-1 rule for liquids, aerosols and gels still applies, with an exception for hand sanitizer. Travelers can take containers of up to 12 ounces in their carry-on bag, but they must be removed from the bag and placed separately in the bin before screening for additional inspection. Electronics larger than a cell phone must be placed separately into a bin. Failure to prepare for screening may result in being asked to step out of line and resubmit your items for screening.
  • Traveling with food: Carry-on food items, which often alarm requiring further inspection, should be placed in a clear plastic bag and the bag placed separately into a bin. Removing the bag from the carry-on will reduce the officer’s need to open and touch your belongings.
  • Practice social distancing: Travelers should observe floor markings to maintain safe distance in the queuing area leading up to security and throughout the screening process.

The rules are additional to safety measures already in place by TSA.

Those include:

  • Reduced security lane usage due to the reduction in passenger volume.
  • TSA officers at checkpoints wearing masks and gloves, optionally wearing eye protection and clear plastic face shields at some locations.
  • TSA officers continuing the practice of changing gloves after each pat-down.
  • Plastic shielding installed at many travel document checking podiums, divest, bag search and drop off locations.
  • TSA officers practicing social distancing.
  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in the screening checkpoint area.

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