With air travel slowly ticking up from a coronavirus drop-off, the Transportation Security Administration is installing plastic booths and other barriers at security checkpoints to protect travelers and workers, the agency announced Tuesday.
In the D.C. area, Reagan National and Dulles International airports are getting acrylic barriers. The TSA said the barriers are being installed in areas where officers usually interact with passengers, including the front of the security line where they check travelers’ documents and near the X-ray machines for screening carry-on luggage.
“The installation of these barriers is one of several initiatives that TSA has put in place at security checkpoints and other points of contact with TSA officers and the public with the goal of reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination among travelers and employees,” said Scott T. Johnson, the agency’s federal security director for both Reagan National and Dulles airports, in a statement. “These shields provide a helpful layer of protection to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”
Overall, the TSA plans to install 1,230 plastic barriers at 36 “priority” airports across the U.S.
Air travel cratered in the spring amid the initial wave of coronavirus stay-at-home orders. It has since rebounded somewhat, although the number of daily passengers screened by the TSA remains far below the number at this time last year.
For example, on Monday, about 797,000 passengers were screened by the TSA, compared to more than 2.3 million on the same day last year, according to the TSA’s figures.
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