Des Moines International Airport and Waterloo Regional Airport in Iowa, US, have installed new acrylic barriers at security checkpoints to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The protective shields have been installed by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in areas where TSA officers typically interact with travellers.

This includes the divesting areas where passengers prepare their carry-on property for X-ray screening, the property search areas and travel document checking podiums.

TSA Iowa federal security director John Bright said: “The addition of these new shields at the checkpoint is an effort by TSA to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination between travellers and TSA employees. It is one of several initiatives that the TSA has implemented to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

TSA stated that it continues to promote its ‘Stay Healthy. Stay Secure’ campaign designed to advise passengers about airport checkpoint modifications and procedures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The agency is also promoting social distancing, reduced physical contact between passengers and TSA officers during screening, and the use of personal protective equipment by TSA officers, as well as extra cleaning and disinfecting at security checkpoints.

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Recently, the TSA at Antonio B Won Pat International Airport in Guam (GUM), an unincorporated territory of the US, started using an advanced computed tomography (CT) scanner at its security checkpoint.

The scanner will help TSA officers to detect items inside carry-on luggage that can pose security threats.

In a separate development, Denver International Airport (DEN) has reported a drop of 51% in total passenger traffic during 2020, in comparison with the figures of 2019.

In 2020, the airport handled around 33.7 million passengers.