The United Kingdom has introduced a new law banning laptops and tablets on incoming flights six Middle Eastern and African countries.
Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement, with Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey the affected countries.
The rule affects all airlines, and any operators found flouting the rules will be barred from flying to the United Kingdom.
Per Telegraph, “passengers will be barred from taking on board devices that are “larger than a normal sized mobile or smart phone”, equivalent to 16cm long, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep. These devices will have to be placed in the hold.”
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals.”
He added: “The safety and security of the travelling public is our highest priority. That is why we keep our aviation security under constant review and put in place measures we believe are necessary, effective and proportionate. ”
The United States also announced a similar ban, coming after reports that terrorists planned to use explosive-filled laptops to bring down jets.
In a statement, the 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.”
Some airlines have already begun announcing the bans to their customers.
Turkish Airlines put out a statement confirming the ban. “At Turkish Airlines we kindly inform our passengers that any electronic or electrical devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone (except medical devices) must not be transported on board in our flights arriving to the US destinations,” it said.