How to fly during coronavirus pandemic: 6 travel tips from TSA
You are allowed to wear a mask during TSA screenings, the agency said
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Travel restrictions and stay at home orders throughout the country, which were intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, have led to a significant drop in the number of travelers who are flying.
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration reported a 95 percent drop in travelers on April 7 compared to a year ago, according to the Associated Press.
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The TSA screened only 97,130 people on April 7, which includes airline crew members and airport staff who work inside airport security perimeters. Only a month before, on March 1, the TSA screened 2.3 million people.
Despite the unheard-of drop in air travel, some people are still flying.
For those people, the TSA published this list of tips for flying during the pandemic.
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Bring hand sanitizer
Even though typical TSA guidelines only allow passengers to bring liquids of up to 3.4 ounces, the agency is allowing travelers to bring a single 12-ounce container of hand sanitizer “until further notice.” However, those containers will have to be screened separately, the agency said.
“This will add some time to the checkpoint screening experience,” the TSA said. “Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.”
Wipes, including “jumbo containers," are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage, the TSA said.
Masks are allowed
The TSA said that people are allowed to wear masks through security.
“However, a TSA officer may ask the traveler to adjust the mask to visually confirm their identity during the travel document checking process,” the agency said.
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A recently expired ID can still be used
A driver’s license or state-issued ID that expired on or after March 1 of this year is still considered an acceptable form of identification at TSA security checkpoints.
“TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration or 60 days after the duration of the emergency, whichever is longer,” the agency said. And the new deadline for getting a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license is now October 1, 2021.
Don't carry anything in your pockets
To avoid taking the time to put everything from your pockets into a bin, and then back into your pockets on the other side of security, the TSA recommends you take the time to move everything from your pockets into your carry-on bag.
That includes “keys, tissues, lip balm, loose change, breath mints, mobile phones and anything else,” the agency said.
Wash your hands
“It’s good practice to wash your hands before and after going through the security screening process,” the TSA said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.