Coronavirus in Knoxville: Extra measures in place at airport security checkpoints

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – If you haven’t traveled or been to McGhee Tyson airport since March, your next trip may look a little different.

There are several new changes in place at security checkpoints to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We have some extra cleaning protocols in place, cleaning the most touched areas as often as possible,” said McGhee Tyson screening manager, Angie Byrd.

Travelers are also now asked to scan their own boarding passes to try to minimize cross contamination.

“We’re changing our gloves more often. If the passenger would like to request us to change our gloves, we will do so,” Byrd said. “We’re asking them to take out their food. We’re also asking them to remove anything we feel like might cause an alarm on their person. To pay attention there and listen very well to what the officers are asking them to divest because the whole point is to minimize exposure of the passenger and of our officers.”

The reminders are important, Byrd says, ahead of an anticipated busy Fourth of July travel weekend.

It’s also why TSA is making an effort to prioritize social distancing.

“We’re going to use all our resources that we have available to us to ensure we can keep as many lanes open as we need to and to keep people spread out and minimize their exposure,” said Byrd.

While masks are highly encouraged but not required inside McGhee Tyson right now, do keep in mind that major airlines are requiring masks on board.

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