TSA screening process likely to change following COVID-19 crisis

In A New California, get ready for a new TSA screening process.

As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the unofficial start to summer and the upcoming travel season, the Transportation Security Administration released its updated procedures.

The new guidelines are in a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strive to reduce cross-contamination at airport security checkpoints.

While TSA officers are required to wear a face covering, travelers are encouraged to do the same.

At a checkpoint, passengers may be asked to adjust their mask to allow an officer to confirm identification.

Also, instead of handing over their boarding pass to a TSA officer, travelers should hang on to it and scan it themselves.

More notable differences: in carry-on bags, travelers can pack one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces. Any other liquids greater than 3.4 ounces are still not allowed.

Instead of unloading loose items, such as a wallet, keys, or phone into a provided security bin, TSA is recommending travelers put all those items directly into their carry-on bag, to reduce touch-points.

Food should be wrapped in a clear plastic bag and placed in the bin. Food usually triggers an alarm. If it does need to be inspected, it will be protected by the plastic and won’t be touched by an officer.

The TSA notes travel is picking up across the nation. On March 1st, pre travel restrictions, 2,280,522 travelers passed through a checkpoint. By mid-April, that number dropped to just over 87,500.  A month later, on May 20th,  that number more than doubled to 230,367.

A TSA spokesperson tells FOX 11, the new guidelines will be rolled out at Los Angeles International Airport, and other local airports, in the coming weeks.