Texas travel restrictions lifted, TSA updates security procedures

Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday to remove air travel restrictions that were in place due to COVID-19, and that’s means we are starting to see more travelers at our area airports.

Business is slowly starting to pick up at Houston area airports, compared to last month, where there was a 95% decline in passenger travel.

Augusto Bernal, Public Information Officer of Houston Airports says “Memorial day is coming so people might be more eager to fly in an airplane.“

Social distancing: What to do and what not to do to slow the spread of COVID-19

Passenger Will Pope tells FOX 26, “There was no line at security. We got to the airport like an hour and a half thinking there would be a little delay and we walk through security.”

Another passenger Jill Smolsky was surprised it wasn’t more congested. “Well it’s Memorial Day too so we figured they would be a little more busier traffic than most but there was nothing.“

Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports have already ramped up cleaning efforts, and they are prepared for when travel starts to increase. One way is by keeping pick up and drop off areas as clear as possible.

“Actually you’ll save time by waiting in the cell phone lot waiting for the passenger to give you a call and you’ll be at the arrivals area in no time, and that’s going to help social distancing, it’s going to help at the areas for pick up and drop off so it’s not as congested.“ says Bernal.

FOR THE LATEST NEWS & WEATHER UPDATES DOWNLOAD THE FOX 26 APPS

Airport officials say that once they start to get more passengers, they will enforce social distancing at baggage claim, by placing marks on the floor as a reminder and making sure baggage on incoming flights are separated by every other belt.

Plexiglass shields are starting to go up at ticket counters, gate areas, and security.

TSA made an announcement that there will be changes at security. So passengers should be aware to handle their own boarding passes when scanning.

Separate food items from luggage in a clear plastic bag. Food often triggers a security check, so doing this will actually help the process go faster for everyone. Liquids are still limited to a 3.4 oz container,  but hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces is permitted. Practice social distancing, and they encourage everyone to wear a face mask.

Bernal says that Houston airports suggest the same, “We are asking all the traveling public to wear the facial covering, and all our employees are required to do so as well.“

If you forget a mask Bush and Hobby airports have stores on site where you can purchase one.