Following the United States’ decision to ban electronic devices on inbound flights from some middle eastern countries on Monday, the U.K has announced a sweeping cabin ban on laptops and tablets on inbound flights from six Muslim majority countries- Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The ban announced on Tuesday morning, includes electronical devices bigger than the normal smartphone and applies to all direct passenger flights, but will not affect flights where UK travellers change planes in European airport.
Chris Grayling,the U.K transport secretary, said the UK took the decision to protect British nationals and that they carefully understood the United State’s approach.
“We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact,” he said in a written statement to parliament announcing the change.
“Our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals.”
Grayling said the government was still open for business with the countries affected: “We remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.”
Passengers flying from the shortlisted countries will not be allowed to take any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal smartphone – specified as 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm (6.2in x 3.6in x 0.5in) meaning such devices will need to be placed in hold luggage. The ban takes effect immediately and has no end date.