Britain is set to follow the US cabin-luggage ban on laptops and other electronic devices on UK flights from Middle East countries, with new regulations expected to be announced imminently.
Government sources told the Guardian the UK rules would not exactly mirror the ban issued by the US, which forbids airlines from eight countries from allowing passengers to carry electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the plane cabin. Passengers must check in any such devices in their hold luggage.
The ban and its full details were expected to be formally announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The decision by the UK government is understood to have come after several weeks of meetings about airline security, including one on Tuesday morning. Discussions have also been taking place with US counterparts.
“This is about keeping the British people safe,” the source said.
Experts criticize US electronic devices ban on some flights from Middle East
Saudia Airlines and Royal Jordanian airlines are among the airlines included in the US ban. Affected airports include Queen Alia in Jordan, Cairo International in Egypt, Ataturk International in Turkey, Dubai international and Abu Dhabi international in the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement on Tuesday, the US Department for Homeland Security said: “The US government is concerned about terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, as evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt; the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia; and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul.
“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”