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  • Those passing through airports in the US have been advised to take extra precautions, and watch out for bins at security checkpoints.
  • The American Transport Safety Administration (TSA) is encouraging travellers to wash their hands before and after the screening procedures.
  • It's also telling passengers not to place items like phones and wallets in bins, and instead put them in personal carry-on luggage.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday night, and it continues to spread through the United States of America.

Travellers in that country have been given new hygiene advice around airport security checkpoints, including not using bins at x-ray machines for personal items.

See also | Covid-19 update: Now officially a pandemic, with one SA coronavirus patient critical

Here's what the US Transport Safety Administration (TSA) now recommends.

Don't put your phones in bins

The TSA is telling travellers:

"Bins in use in the security checkpoint are like any other piece of public property and should be treated as such. With hundreds of travelers coming through an airport security checkpoint each hour, the bins are a common use item.

"Do not place personal items such as wallets, keys or phone in a bin. Instead, secure them in carry-on property to be screened through the x-ray system."

Wash your hands before – and after – screening

As passengers are touching things like shoes and bins during the screening process, the TSA is advising passengers to wash their hands before and after screening procedures.

TSA officers are also advised to wash their hands regularly.

You can bring wipes and hand sanitiser with you

Joey Hadden/Business Insider

The TSA is reminding passengers:

"As a reminder, travelers are permitted to bring individually-packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage. Jumbo containers of hand wipes are also allowed in carry-on or checked luggage. Liquid hand sanitizers also are permitted in carry-on luggage."

What else to do while traveling

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Business Insider reporter Thomas Pallini put together a list of things you can do to avoid germs while traveling, like putting your boarding pass on your phone. You can view the list here.

More on office hygiene - here.

More on hand hygiene - here.  

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