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Published on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

US airports to impose more rigorous body checks

The Transportation Security Administration has rolled out new pat-down procedures at airport screening, warning travellers body checks will be 'more rigorous'.

Checks will involve 'more intimate contact' than before, the TSA warned, but it stressed it will not increase airport delays for the two million people who pass through TSA screening each day.

Previously the were five pat-down options for passengers who set off metal detector alarms, which were conducted based on risk.

Now a single standardised procedure will be used and 'will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before'.

"TSA continues to adjust and refine our systems and procedures to meet the evolving threat and to achieve the highest levels of transportation security," said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Bruce Anderson.

Some passengers complained pat-downs are now more invasive.

Frequent traveller Joel Stratte-McClure told NBC News: "This was the most intriguing, intense and invasive pat down I've had by the TSA since they came into existence.

"Seasoned travellers might take it in stride but infrequent travellers will be embarrassed and shocked."

The new procedure has been described as 'legalised groping' on Twitter.

The agency also said airport workers may face more random checks.

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