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The UK has followed the US with its own ban on passengers bringing large electronic devices on flights from some Middle Eastern countries.
The ban, announced on Tuesday by Downing Street, applies to flights coming into the UK from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, with immediate effect and would apply to both domestic and foreign carriers.
No phones, tablets, or laptops bigger than 16cm length, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep would be allowed in the main cabin of the plane. The devices will need to be placed into hold luggage and checked-in instead.
“The safety and security of the travelling public is our highest priority,” said a government spokesperson. “In the last few weeks we have had a number of meetings on aviation security. This morning at a meeting we agreed that these new measures were required.”
The spokesperson declined to explain how the decision was made, saying, “we would not get into the information on which this decision was taken but we think these steps are necessary and proportionate. We have spoken closely with the US [about which countries they have included] but we have each taken our own decisions on this.”
UK carriers affected by the ban are: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
Foreign carriers affected are: Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.