Under the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” Campaign, screening procedures are being changed to allow for more social distancing and to limit physical contact while still maintaining needed security procedures during the summer travel season.

In mid-April, due to COVID-19, TSA recorded its lowest travel volume ever: approximately 87,500 travelers per day. Although TSA anticipates a higher volume of travelers during the summer, it does not expect anywhere close to its daily average of 2.5 million travelers screened in recent years. At the same time, more than 1,000 TSA employees, mostly screeners, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Changes to expect at airports nationwide include the following:

  • Social distancing (six feet) among travelers in lines and among TSA officers
  • ID verification without physical contact between the traveler and the TSA officer (g., asked to hold up ID or place it on the screening device)
  • Plastic shielding in various locations
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces including bins and screening equipment
  • TSA officers will be wearing masks and gloves and, perhaps, face shields
  • At the traveler’s request, TSA officers will use a new pair of gloves for a pat-down
  • Travelers can bring up to 12 ounces per passenger of hand sanitizer in carry-on bags, but the sanitizer must be removed from the carry-on for screening

TSA recommends that travelers allow additional time to get through screening. Travelers also are advised to:

  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands before and after screening
  • Wear a facemask during screening (although you may be asked to remove it for identification purposes)
  • Remove belts and personal items from your pockets and place them in your carry-on before getting into the security queue
  • After screening, move out of the screening area to “re-pack”

Because some airlines have specific rules, TSA recommends checking with your airline regarding any COVID-19 rules or guidance.

As to travel destinations, it is important to check with your airline, the Department of State, and the state or country to which you are traveling to determine whether there are travel advisories, travel restrictions, or quarantines in place. As of July 1, 2020, the European Union has reopened its members’ borders to select countries – but not to United States residents (although there are exemptions). The list will be reviewed bi-weekly and countries will be added or deleted based upon their handling of the epidemiological situation, containment measures, and reciprocity.

If you have questions about travel restrictions, Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you.

 

 

 

 

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.