Virus shields going up at TSA checkpoints at JFK, Newark airports

Acrylic barriers installed at ID checkpoints at Kennedy Airport in New York. (Transportation Security Administration photo)

The Transportation Security Administration this month began installing acrylic barriers at security checkpoints throughout John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

LaGuardia Airport in New York started getting the barriers last month.

"The installation of these barriers is just one of many initiatives that TSA has put in place with the goal of enforcing social distancing and reduced physical contact in an effort to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination among travelers and employees," TSA's John Bambury said in a statement. "These shields provide an additional layer of protection to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus."

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Acrylic barriers installed at ID checkpoints at Kennedy Airport in New York. (Transportation Security Administration photo)

The TSA will install the shields in areas that officers interact the most with passengers, such as where travelers show their ID and boarding pass and where they load carry-on luggage and other items on the belt for X-ray screening. 

The three New York City-area airports are among 37 high-priority U.S. airports where the TSA is installing 1,230 acrylic barriers under a recent $2.5 million contract with California-based Lavi Industries.

Air travel plummeted during the pandemic but has been slowly increasing as cities and states restarted their economies. Airlines have strict mask-wearing rules and are banning travelers who refuse.

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Acrylic barriers installed at a baggage screening area at Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, N.J. (Transportation Security Administration photo)

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Acrylic barriers installed at an ID checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport in New York. (Transportation Security Administration photo)

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