UK laptop ban comes into effect by Saturday, government confirms

Travellers should assume the rules are already in effect, said a spokesperson

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 22 March 2017 14:52
A British Airways passenger jet takes off from Terminal 5, at Heathrow Airport, west of London, on October 29, 2010
A British Airways passenger jet takes off from Terminal 5, at Heathrow Airport, west of London, on October 29, 2010

The UK will ban people from flying into the country with large electronic devices by Saturday.

The Department for Transport said that it will implement the ban on laptops and tablets from a range of countries this week. Any large gadgets flying from a range of affected countries will have to be put into the luggage hold, and can't be taken onto the plane.

Airlines are being told to implement the rules "over the coming days and no later than 25 March", a DfT spokesperson said. Passengers "should go to the airport with the expectation that the measures are already in effect", she said.

Some airlines such as EasyJet have already introduced the rules in some countries. UK carriers including British Airways, Jet2com, Monarch and Thomson are all hit by the change, as well as foreign carriers like Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian.

The move will affect thousands of people coming from a range of predominantly-Muslim countries. It mirrors a very similar measure imposed by the US, which has already gone into effect.

Both decisions come after specific intelligence reports suggesting that such electronic devices could be used for an attack if they were carried into a plane's cabin, officials said.

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That led to large electronic devices being banned from being taken into the cabin on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

It covers everything larger than a typical smartphone – taking in iPads, Kindles, laptops and any other big gadget.

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