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TSA issues reminders for travelers ahead of busy holiday travel week

Some travelers are hitting the airports for the first time since the pandemic began.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — Holiday travel season is kicking off this week as folks board planes, trains, and automobiles to get to their Thanksgiving travel destination.

For many, it's the first time traveling since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the highest travel day in TSA's history was the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2019 when nearly 2.9 million individuals were screened at checkpoints nationwide. The TSA said they don't expect the travel volume to be as high this year, but it's expected to be notably higher than the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

The TSA still has COVID-19 safety requirements for travelers this year, and a few reminders for those who haven't traveled in a while:

Pack a mask! Travelers, TSA personnel, and other airport workers are required to wear a mask according to the federal mask mandate. Everyone in airports, bus and rail stations, passenger planes, and any other forms of public or mass transportation must wear a mask. However, if you forget to pack one, a TSA agent will have one available for you.  

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RELATED: COVID-19 cases rising in Connecticut ahead of Thanksgiving travel

The TSA is currently allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on pages until further notice. Passengers can expect all containers larger than 3.4 ounces will need to be screened separately which will add some time as travelers go through the checkpoints. 

Travelers are also allowed to bring alcohol wipes or anti-bacterial wipes in a carry-on, checked luggage, or both. 

Pack smart, especially for the holidays! Ensure there are no prohibited items in baggage. Know which food should go in a checked bag. Holiday classics like gravy, cranberry sauce, wine, jam, and other preserves should all go into a checked back because they are not solids. The TSA says if you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it, or pour it – then it's not solid and should be packed in a check bad. The TSA says passengers can bring solid foods such as cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints. 

Make sure to pack the proper identification. Learn more on what identification to have while traveling here.

To avoid long lines, the TSA also offers a TSA PreCheck membership option. The TSA encourages precheck as it can reduce touchpoints during the pandemic and puts travelers in security lines that have fewer travelers and move quicker and that encourage social distancing. 

Head to the TSA's website to learn more.

RELATED: Claim that Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day needs context

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at abavaro@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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