Passengers flying to the US from the UK could reportedly face a ban on carrying laptops in aircraft cabins.
British security chiefs have been put on alert that the US is planning to impose its laptop ban on incoming flights from some parts of Europe — a move that could be implemented within weeks.
They are waiting to see whether Britain is included, a senior Whitehall source told The Times.
Several informed sources confirmed that the US was considering plans to include Britain but no final decision has been taken.
“As with everything from Trump’s America, there are conflicting reports about where, when and what,” one Whitehall insider said.
A US official suggested that no announcement was imminent but signalled that a move by the US Department for Homeland Security was not far off.
The official confirmed that Britain was on the list of countries being examined for extended restrictions.
Under the restrictions, devices larger than a mobile phone — including laptops, tablets and e-readers — must be checked in and stored in the hold.
The source pointed out that US homeland security secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star general, had already made clear that he might extend the ban once security considerations had been investigated.
The indefinite US ban on electronic devices in carry-on luggage, introduced last month, affects flights to the US from ten airports in eight countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Morocco.
The UK implemented its own restrictions on electronic devices in carry-on luggage after the original US ban was imposed.
The British laptop ban affects flights to the UK from all airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Six UK airlines and eight Turkish or Middle Eastern carriers are affected. It is expected to affect 12,000 flights over a year, carrying up to 2.4 million people.
A UK government spokesman said: “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: “We will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports.”
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