Report: DHS electronics ban will now include flights from Europe

Image: Shutterstock / Andrew Barker

Back in March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security banned electronics on planes coming to the U.S. from eight Middle Eastern and African countries. Now, the ban is expected to be expanded to some European countries, based on reports from Reuters and The Daily Beast.

That would mean electronics bigger than smartphones, like laptops, e-readers, and tablets, wouldn’t be allowed on board and would have to be checked. Airlines like Emirates, Royal Jordanian, Qatar Airways, and others that fly between the U.S. and the eight countries initially included in the ban have been dealing with the new rules for almost two months.

The UK followed suit shortly after the U.S.’s lead on the electronics ban on certain flights.

An announcement about the updated ban is expected soon, according to a Reuters report. On Thursday Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is briefing senators about “domestic threats” and that includes air travel issues, Reuters reported.

A DHS statement said the ban was “under consideration” and a decision would be based on possible threats to safety. The agency “will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe,” according to the non-committal statement.

Speculation about the expanded ban comes just a day after the United Nations aviation agency met and discussed a global plan for airplane electronics bans. Countries targeted by the U.S. and UK bans spoke out about being unfairly penalized, according to Reuters.

The UN group will come back with global recommendations mid-June for flying with electronics and how to best store the devices and their lithium-ion batteries. The group is also looking into mitigating security risks with hidden explosives in the main cabin.

All of this to say, maybe change that European summer vacation you just booked to a South American getaway those countries don’t have electronics bans, yet.

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