Passengers flying from several cities in the Middle East to the UK have also been prohibited from carrying most electronic devices onboard, officials have announced.
The move follows in the footsteps of a new rule issued by the US today that requires passengers coming from eight countries (including Qatar) to pack any device larger than a cell phone into their checked luggage.
However, the UK ban affects fewer nations.
In a statement, the Department of Transport said “Phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.”
This means passengers flying through Qatar and the UAE have escaped the new requirements if they’re heading to London or other UK cities.
According to Sky News, some UK airlines will also be affected by the ban:
US officials cited the possibility of a terrorist attack as a reason for instituting its indefinite electronics ban.
The UK transport department said that it understood the new measures would cause “frustration,” but it was also concerned about safety.
“The House will recognize that we face a constantly evolving threat from terrorism and must respond accordingly to ensure the protection of the public against those who would do us harm,” it said.
However, officials added, “we remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.”