Additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to the UK

Updated 23.03.17

The Government has updated their initial statement regarding the new aviation security measures that have been introduced. The full statement is as follows:   Additional hand luggage restrictions on some flights to the UK – Government Statement  Large phones, laptops and tablets not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. On Tuesday 21 March the government announced new aviation security measures on all inbound direct flights to the UK from the following countries:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia

Under the new arrangements, passengers boarding flights from these countries to the UK will not be allowed to take phones, laptops and tablets which are larger than:

  • length: 16.0cm
  • width: 9.3cm
  • depth: 1.5cm

into the cabin of the plane. Passengers with these devices should check with their airlines for more details on transporting these items. The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. Direct flights to the UK from these destinations can continue to operate to the UK subject to these new measures being in place. Travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice and to check online with their chosen carrier for further information.

Which devices are not allowed in the cabin?

  • large phones
  • all laptops
  • all tablets and e-readers

Which flights and routes will this apply to?

These new measures will apply on all inbound direct flights travelling to the UK from the following countries:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia

Passengers travelling on these flights should check online with their carrier if they require further information.

Should I cancel my trip? Is it still safe to go to these countries?

These new measures are concerned with flights into the UK. The UK is not stopping direct flights to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel should contact their airline for further information. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also publishes travel advice.

What’s a ‘normal sized mobile phone’?

Most smart phones will be allowed in the cabin, including many common popular handsets such as:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • LG G3
  • Sony Xperia Z2

The new UK measures will mean that phones, laptops and tablets larger than:

  • length: 16.0cm
  • width: 9.3cm
  • depth: 1.5cm

will not be allowed in the cabin.

Can I take items purchased from duty free on board?

Any phones, laptops or tablets larger than the above dimensions will not be allowed in the cabin, regardless of whether they were purchased in duty free.

Why are these measures not in place for flights travelling from the UK?

This applies to inbound flights. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world but we keep this under constant review based on assessment of risk. More about hand luggage restrictions on electronic devices and items at UK airports.

What about any costs incurred as a result of this? And what if I want to cancel my flight can I get compensation?

This is matter for the airlines. We encourage them to take a customer focused approach.

How long will these measures be in place?

The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we will continue to take all the steps we believe are necessary to put in place security measures we believe will be effective and proportionate. We keep our aviation security measures under constant review.

Is this in response to a specific threat?

It is long standing government policy not to comment on intelligence matters.

Why isn’t the UK following the US and banning all personal electronic devices from the cabin, why only phones, laptops and tablets?

We are confident these measures are proportionate and effective.

What happens to passengers travelling from countries unaffected by the measures who are transferring to an affected flight?

Transfer passengers who board a flight on a route affected will be subject to the measures.


Still current at:16 March 2017

Updated:16 March 2017

Latest update:

Summary - suspension of the introduction of temporary immigration measures for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. Restrictions apply depending on the type of passport you hold, your nationality, criminal history, and countries you may have recently visited. Visa and other entry conditions can change at short notice; it’s your responsibility to know and understand the entry rules before you travel. See Entry Requirements

The introduction of temporary immigration measures on 16 March 2017 for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen has been suspended following a Federal Court ruling. British passport holders weren’t affected by the measures but those who are either dual nationals with one of these countries or who have travelled to these countries since 2011 should note the unchanged rules for entry as outlined in Entry Requirements.

If you’re unsure whether you’re affected you should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate for advice.

For the latest and up-to-date overseas travel advice refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website

London Gatwick Change of Terminals for British Airways, Virgin And Easyjet Flights

Modified 03 February 2017

  • From 24 January 2017: All EasyJet flights now depart from the North Terminal
  • From 25 January 2017: All British Airways flights depart from the South Terminal All Virgin flights depart from the North Terminal

Zika Virus  

Update and advice for travellers including pregnant women and those planning pregnancy

Modified 10 January 2017

Advice for travellers has been updated based on epidemiological information.

Specific areas where current active Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine, and subject to change over time. Areas with active (i.e. locally acquired cases in the last 3 months) or past ZIKV transmission have now been classified into 4 risk categories based on the current and potential epidemiological situation. 

The main outbreak region is currently South and Central America, the Caribbean,Oceania (Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia only) and South East Asia. Certain areas outside the main outbreak region are also reporting ZIKV cases. Public Health England (PHE) has provided an A-Z list of affected areas and information on the four risk categories ».

More information at:
› Zika virus update and advice for travellers including pregnant women
› Zika virus

FCO Travel Advice

The FCO offers advice about travelling abroad.  Visit the website for useful information on safety and security, entry requirements, natural disasters, health alerts, the political climate, and crime information. It also tells you what to do if something goes wrong.

Please check the FCO website for travel information or advice. Please use Foreign Travel Advice by Country directory for travel information associated with specific countries.

South Africa

13 March 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have updated the travel advice for South Africa with an update to the Safety & Security (Water safety) section – updated information and advice about how to avoid rip currents.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Safety & Security

Water Safety

Beach conditions and local safety provisions vary considerably throughout the South African coastline and every year significant numbers of people drown due to the strong sea currents. Speak to local people who are familiar with the conditions, and check whether there are any flags and/or lifeguards before entering the water. Most beaches don’t have warning signs, flags or life-saving equipment.

Follow any warnings that are displayed and instructions issued by lifeguards. 

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

View the travel advice in full here: