Passengers flying from the UK to America could reportedly be banned from boarding planes with their laptops.
The policy, which has so far only affected travellers from Middle Eastern countries, is to be extended to flights from some parts of Europe within a matter of weeks, officials said.
British security services were waiting to hear whether the rule will apply to the UK, but sources told The Times that it could be one of the countries included.
Under the rules, any devices larger than a mobile phone need to be checked in and stored in the hold, where they can be screened more extensively.
After the initial laptop ban was brought in in January, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicated the restrictions could be extended, saying US officials would “tighten up their procedures” to ensure more thorough vetting.
The prospect of an expansion across Europe came as the continent remains on high alert following a string of attacks in France, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the UK since the start of the year.
The first US electronics ban affected nine airlines flying from 10 specific airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, the world’s busiest airport for international travellers.
The UK mirrored the US ban on electronics ban, bringing in a similar restriction on carry-on luggage on flights from six predominantly-Muslim nations. The Government cited an attempt by the Islamist al-Shabaab group to bring down a jet in Somalia using a laptop bomb.
But Europe refused to match the British ban, causing concerns that the rules were being undermined.
A UK Government spokesperson told The Times: “The safety and security of the travelling public is our highest priority. We keep aviation security under constant review, but we do not comment on speculation.”
The US Department of Homeland Security said it was continuing to evaluate the threat level, but said no decisions had been made to expand the laptop ban to flights from the UK.
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