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Electronic devices face restrictions on Mideast-to-US flights

Devices larger than a cell phone will be banned in cabins of some airlines flying from eight Middle Eastern and African countries to the US, according to reports.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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Jennifer Bisset
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The ban is expected to be announced Tuesday, Reuters reports.

US authorities are in the process of formalizing a new rule that will require passengers traveling to the US from certain countries to check in electronic devices larger than a cell phone.

The devices that would need to be packed into checked baggage include laptops, tablets, DVD players, electronic game players and cameras.

The new rule is expected to be announced Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security, according to Reuters. It comes as a response to an unspecified terrorism threat and is said to cover 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Reuters.

Royal Jordanian airlines tweeted a statement about the new rule on Monday. The tweet, which may have been inadvertently posted early, was later deleted:


There has been a precedent for concern over electronic devices on aircraft, with the US banning the troubled Samsung Note 7 last year on all inward and outward-bound flights. In addition, major US airlines have prohibited hoverboards since late 2015 after several reports of overheating batteries starting fires. However, this rule comes after the Trump administration has tried twice this year to ban travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. Both executive orders have been stopped temporarily by US courts.

No American airlines are affected by the ban on electronic devices.

See ZDNet's coverage for more details on the electronics ban.

Correction, 8:16 a.m. PT on March 21: The headline has been changed. The devices will be banned from airplane cabins.

Watch this: US bans most electronics from cabin of flights from 8 Middle East countries

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