The U.S.-Canada border closing for non-essential travel was done by "mutual consent," Vice President Mike Pence said. USA TODAY


USA TODAY has received more than 2,000 questions from readers about the coronavirus pandemic and how it affects them. Here are a few selected questions and answers about how the outbreak is impacting travel.

What are airports doing?

Individual airports are doing different things, so travelers should check airport websites for specifics.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, for instance, said Tuesday that it has stepped up its disinfection and personal hygiene protocols. Some airport businesses and restaurants have closed, but others remain open.

"While it is not business as usual at SEA, the airport dining and retail tenants are working to ensure travelers are well-fed and well-stocked for the journey ahead," the airport said in a statement.

Los Angeles International Airport issued a statement saying it is taking steps like installing 250 more hand-sanitizer stations in the terminals and cleaning and disinfecting restrooms and public areas "at least" once an hour.

Are TSA screening procedures changing as a result of coronavirus?


The TSA has announced it will allow passengers to have larger bottles of hand sanitizer in their carry-on, bags due to the coronavirus pandemic. Buzz60

The Transportation Security Administration has adjusted its security screening process, allowing airline passengers to bring a 12-ounce-or-less bottle of hand sanitizer through checkpoints. Other approved items include disinfectant wipes and face masks.

Another change: Travelers should put put their wallets, keys and phones into carry-on luggage, not in the plastic bins. They can expect questions about where they've traveled recently. Passengers may be asked if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness and have their temperature checked.

TSA also recommends following the CDC's recommendation about washing your hands before and after going through checkpoints.

What are airlines doing?


To avoid catching other people's germs on your next flight, follow these steps to ensure you've properly disinfected your plane seat before take-off. USA TODAY

Airlines are using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionto clean and disinfect the interiors of their aircraft.

Delta Air Lines says it's has taken a cue from hospitals and begun fogging the planes it uses for transoceanic flights. According to its website, crew spray commonly touched surfaces with a high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant and virucide "that is highly effective against many communicable diseases," including coronaviruses yet is safe for customers and crew immediately after use. They're also using the same disinfectant to wipe down tray tables, seatback screens, consoles, and common areas like lavatories and galleys.

Like Delta, American Airlines is using an EPA-approved disinfectant on key touch points and conducting a 30-point cleaning process on its long-range aircraft and other planes that are on the ground overnight. In addition, most of its aircraft use HEPA filters, which completely replace the cabin air supply 15 to 30 times per hour. The airline is providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to its crew members.

United Airlines has stopped refilling passenger beverages in the same cup, giving refills in new cups instead. Flight attendants are also handing all beverages directly to passengers instead of allowing them to pick them up from the serving tray.

Delta Air Lines is fogging its aircraft with a high-grade, EPA-registered disinfectant. Crews also clean tray tables, seatback screens and lavatories.

Southwest said it is using a hospital-grade disinfectant on aircraft interiors. The cleaning routine involves the seat belt buckles and flight attendant call buttons and even the controls used by the pilots in the flight deck. Southwest has also eliminated The airline has suspended hot-towel service and in-flight crews are wearing medical-grade gloves.

What are hotels doing?


CDC says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' by touching surfaces or objects. But it still 'may be possible.' USA TODAY

Hotel chains have deluged travelers with reassurances that they are doubling down on their cleaning schedules — both rooms and common areas — but experts say the only way to be sure is to District of Columbia have ordered restaurants to close except for takeout or delivery. Pennsylvania has closed its rest areas and welcome centers. New Jersey is discouraging nonessential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

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As far as flights are concerned, airlines have dramatically cut back their schedules as demand has dropped. Industry executives say flying is safe.

The heightened awareness has its limits. An American Airlines pilot based in Dallas tested positive. Nine TSA officers have tested positive at airports around the country. Three Federal Aviation Administration technicians in Chicago tested positive, prompting the closure of the air traffic control tower at Midway Airport. And JetBlue banned a passenger who boarded one of its flights after testing positive.

Can I cross into Canada?

President Trump confirmed via tweet Wednesday that the border between Canada and the U.S. will close for non-essential travel, though he has not said when that takes effect.

"We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!" he tweeted.

Once the order takes effect, travelers won't be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism purposes, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press conference on Wednesday morning.

He clarified that "essential travel" won't stop, however, saying, "Our governments recognize that it is critical we preserve supply chains between both countries."

These supply chains include the passage of food, fuel and medicines reach people in both countries. Trucking won't be affected, for example.

Coronavirus: What the new US-Canada non-essential travel restriction means for travelers

Contributing: David Oliver and Rasha Ali, USA TODAY

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