S6 of Airport Security: Peru & Brazil starts on National Geographic (181) on Thursday, 7 May. And it is business as usual for the security staff of Latin America's biggest airports – Lima, Peru's Jorge Chavez and Brazil's Sao Paulo-Guarulhos – who are on high alert for cocaine smugglers, human trafficking, animal smuggling and illegal immigrants.
But at the time of filming and while their focus was on busting crime, enforcing border laws and saving lives, one silent threat was sneaking across borders all around the globe using a speed pass: COVID-19. Airline travel allowed it to spread to over 77 countries around the world in just one month.
With most of the planet now still grounded and airports in lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, we’ll be looking at this season through somewhat different eyes. In May 2020, border security is aiming to stop passengers from smuggling sickness. But it’s a team effort, with everyone from ground staff to those most essential of essential workers – the new frontline of border security – airports’ cleaners and medical staff.