"The installation of these barriers is the latest initiative that TSA has put in place at security checkpoints with the goal of reducing the likelihood of cross contamination among travelers and employees," TSA's Robert Duffy said in a statement. "These shields provide a substantial layer of protection to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus."
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.
John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport also will get the barriers. The three New York-area airports are among 37 high-priority airports in the U.S. where the TSA plans to install 1,230 acrylic barriers under a recent deal.
Air travel plummeted during the pandemic but is slowly increasing again as cities and states begin to restart their economies. Airlines have strict mask-wearing rules and are banning travelers who refuse to do so.
Acrylic barriers installed at a screening area at LaGuardia Airport in New York. (Transportation Security Administration photo)