UK follows US banning gadgets on Middle East flights

  • 22/03/2017
Heathrow Airport guard
A guard at London's Heathrow Airport (Getty)

Britain has followed the United States in banning most electronic goods from being taken into the cabin on flights from several Middle Eastern and African countries.

The UK introduced restrictions for carry-on electronic goods on direct inbound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia for the safety of the public, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May says.

Earlier, the United States imposed similar restrictions on planes coming from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.

"Direct flights to the UK from these destinations continue to operate to the UK subject to these new measures being in place," the spokesman told reporters on Tuesday. "We think these steps are necessary and proportionate to allow passengers to travel safely."

Passengers would not be allowed to bring phones, laptops or tablets over 16cm in length, 9.3cm in width and with a depth of over 1.5cm into the cabin. These items would have to be in checked-in hold luggage, he said.

"It's not targeting specific people, but what those people are carrying with them onto certain aircraft," CNN's Muhammed Lila says.

"It doesn't matter where you're from, what your nationality is, what passport you hold or even what your religion is.

"If you are getting on a plane from one of these affected airports, with a direct flight to the United States, you won't be able to carry any electronic device onto that plane's cabin if it's larger than a smartphone."

The Trump administration ban takes effect from March 25.

Newshub. / Reuters

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