by Donald Wood
Last updated: 9:42 AM ET, Wed July 21, 2021
Congress passed new legislation on Tuesday that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop a new plan to improve COVID-related airport security screening protocols.
According to The Hill, the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 319-105 and directs the TSA to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services on a strategy to reduce the spread of coronavirus at passenger screening checkpoints and among agency personnel.
The legislation requires the TSA to issue a plan within 90 days, which will be analyzed once a year through an extensive review conducted by the Government Accountability Office.
"As Americans begin to travel again, we must take steps to guarantee the safety of critical frontline workers and air passengers from the dangers posed by the virus, including the delta variant and other variants that could come our way," House Homeland Security Chairwoman Rep. Nanette Barragan told The Hill.
If the legislation becomes law, the TSA would be required to implement the "best practices" developed by foreign governments, federal agencies not related to travel, airports and air carriers during the pandemic.
The TSA would also need to increase the frequency of disinfecting surfaces in security checkpoint areas, require officers to wear masks and gloves and open additional checkpoint lanes to reduce wait times for travelers.
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