U.K. Follows U.S. Ban on Electronic Devices on Flights From Middle East

British security services base decision on the same intelligence as their American counterparts.

Turkish Airlines planes lined up at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.
MURAD SEZER/REUTERS

Britain is banning passengers from carrying most electronic devices on flights from certain countries in the Middle East following similar measures introduced in the United States.

A spokesman for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that passengers will not be allowed in airplane cabins with phones, laptops or tablets larger than length 16 cm, width 9.3 cm and depth 1.5 cm. Passengers will have to check these electronic items into their luggage.

The security measures will apply to direct flights to the U.K. from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. 

The British regulations affect British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson , Atlas-Global, Pegasus, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Turkish Airlines and Tunisair. 

The changes to airplane security measures are necessary for the safety of travelers, the spokesman said.

The United States imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices bigger than cellphones on planes coming from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa on Tuesday, in response to unspecified security threats. The temporary ban applies to laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics in carry-on luggage starting Tuesday.