TSA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

SA Response to COVID-19

TSA understands that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to weigh heavily on the minds of travelers and the general public. We have established this webpage to provide resources and information to assist passengers who find they must travel during this challenging time. TSA remains dedicated to our mission of ensuring that travelers get to their destinations as safely and securely as possible. For the latest press releases and statements related to COVID-19, please visit our media page.

Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Travelers are reminded to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel and prevention guidance regarding COVID-19. This includes practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly. In addition to those CDC recommendations, TSA is also recommending that you wash your hands directly before and after completing the security screening process and that you place personal items such as wallets, keys or phone in your carry-on property that will be screened through the X-ray system. You may wear a facemask during the screening process, but a TSA officer may ask you to adjust the mask to visually confirm your identity.

Employees or travelers who believe they may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19 should consult with their healthcare provider. Employees or travelers who have tested positive for COVID-19 should seek medical attention and follow the guidance of their healthcare provider and local health department.

Security Checkpoints

While security is TSA’s top priority, the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public is of utmost importance to us. TSA remains in close communication with medical professionals, the CDC, and various government agencies as we continue to carry out our important mission.

Below are some adjustments TSA has made at security screening checkpoints in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Passenger Volumes

TSA is consolidating its screening operations to adjust for reduced flight and passenger volumes. Impacted security checkpoints may close as a result, so passengers may be redirected to other security screening checkpoints at the airport. View a comparison of TSA checkpoint screening numbers for 2019 and 2020.

  • Social Distancing

Social distance
TSA has implemented procedures to increase social distancing and reduce direct contact between our employees and the traveling public whenever possible – all without compromising security. Adjustments include metering passengers to increase distance between individuals as they enter the security checkpoint queue, placing visual reminders of appropriate spacing on checkpoint floors and staggering the use of lanes in the security checkpoint where feasible.

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

TSA has issued guidance to frontline employees to conduct routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the TSA security checkpoint. Other steps we are taking to make the security process safer include using a fresh pair of gloves upon passenger’s request, and using new Explosives Trace Detection swabs for each person.

  • Medical Exemption for Hand Sanitizer

Hand SanitizerTSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags until further notice. Since these containers exceed the standard allowance typically permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. This will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience. 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. Learn about TSA’s special procedures for traveling with medication.

  • Expired Driver’s License and REAL ID Extension

If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration. DHS recently announced an extension of time to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. Learn more on TSA’s REAL ID webpage.

TSA Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Overall, TSA has had 428 employees, both screeners and non-screeners, test positive for COVID-19. 57 employees have recovered, and 3 have unfortunately died as a result of the virus.

TSA is committed to notifying the public about airport locations where TSA employees or screening contractors have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The chart below lists airports with confirmed COVID-19 cases and the last date worked for the most recent screening employee who tested positive. It does not include non-airport TSA employees or contractors who have had limited interaction with the public. Passengers who believe they may have come in contact with an infected individual within the past 14 days should follow the CDC’s recommendations for travel-associated exposure.

*The chart includes TSA employees and screening contractors who may have had direct interaction with the public at an airport location.

Airport Total Confirmed Cases TSA Screening Officers Non-Screening Employees Last work date of most recent screening officer confirmed case
ALW - Walla Walla Regional 1 1 3/24/2020
ATL - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International 12 11 1 3/18/2020
AVP - Wilkes Barre Scranton International 2 2 3/18/2020
BNA - Nashville International 9 9 3/24/2020
BOI - Boise Air Terminal 4 4 3/29/2020
BOS - Logan International 14 14 4/12/2020
BUF - Buffalo Niagara International 1 1 3/14/2020
BWI - Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall 4 2 2 3/12/2020
CLE - Cleveland-Hopkins International 4 4 3/20/2020
DCA - Ronald Reagan Washington National 3 3 3/28/2020
DEN - Denver International 16 15 1 4/8/2020
DFW - Dallas/Fort Worth International 10 8 2 4/11/2020
DTW - Detroit Metro Wayne County 5 5 3/25/2020
EWR - Newark Liberty International 45 37 8 4/12/2020
FLL - Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International 14 14 4/1/2020
GRI - Central Nebraska Regional 1 1 4/12/2020
GSP - Greenville-Spartanburg International 1 1 3/31/2020
HNL - Daniel K. Inouye International Airport 2 1 1 3/12/2020
IAD - Washington Dulles International 3 3 3/26/2020
IAH - George Bush Intercontinental 6 5 1 4/5/2020
IND - Indianapolis International 4 3 1 3/29/2020
IPL - Imperial County 1 1 3/26/2020
ISP - Long Island MacArthur 3 3 3/25/2020
JAC - Jackson Hole Airport 3 3 3/25/2020
JAX - Jacksonville International 1 1 3/27/2020
JFK - John F. Kennedy International 89 84 5 4/13/2020
LAS - McCarran International/Las Vegas 2 2 3/19/2020
LAX - Los Angeles International 10 10 4/6/2020
LGA - LaGuardia 27 24 3 4/16/2020
MCO - Orlando International 13 13 4/5/2020
MDW - Chicago Midway International 1 1 4/2/2020
MIA - Miami International 16 14 2 4/10/2020
MSO - Missoula International 1 1 3/24/2020
MSY - Louis Armstrong New Orleans International 26 25 1 4/7/2020
MTJ - Montrose Regional 1 1 3/16/2020
ONT - Ontario International 1 1 3/27/2020
ORD - Chicago O’Hare International 9 8 1 4/2/2020
ORF - Norfolk International 2 2 4/5/2020
PAE - Snohomish County Airport-Paine Field 2 2 4/2/2020
PHL - Philadelphia International 5 5 4/10/2020
PHX - Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1 1
PVD - Theodore Francis Green State 1 1 3/19/2020
RSW - Southwest Florida International 3 3 4/13/2020
SAN - San Diego International 2 1 1 3/24/2020
SDF - Louisville International-Standiford Field 1 1 3/24/2020
SEA - Seattle/Tacoma International 5 5 4/1/2020
SFO - San Francisco International Airport 2 2 3/27/2020
SJC - Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International 5 5 3/11/2020
SJU - Luis Munoz Marin International 1 1 3/25/2020
SLC - Salt Lake City International 1 1 3/24/2020
SNA - John Wayne Airport-Orange County 1 1 3/23/2020
SRQ - Sarasota Bradenton International Airport 1 1 3/23/2020
STT - Cyril E King 1 1 3/13/2020
TOL - Toledo Express 2 2 4/6/2020
TPA - Tampa International 1 1

Travel Restrictions

The latest travel restrictions and advisories related to COVID-19 can be found on the DHS COVID-19: Protecting Air Travelers and the American Public webpage and the State Department’s website.

Airport Closures and Flight Cancellations

TSA does not make decisions about flight cancellations or airport closures. These decisions are made locally, on a case-by-case basis, by individual airlines, airports and public health officials. Before traveling, passengers should check with their airline and airports of origin and destination for the latest information on closures and cancellations.

Protecting our Workforce

TSA is taking extraordinary steps to protect our workforce, including issuing improved personal protective equipment like N95 respirators and eye protection.

Administrator David Pekoske recently responded to questions from Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and Subcommittee Chairman J. Luis Correa on the efforts TSA has taken to protect the frontline workforce from COVID-19. You can read the letter to find out more.