U.K. eases carry-on rules for electronic gear

Revised UK Carry-on Rules

The United Kingdom has relaxed its stringent carry-on baggage restrictions for air travelers and now allows passengers to bring electronic equipment aboard in one small, laptop PC-style bag.

The U.K. Department for Transport (DFT) said it eased carry-on restrictions after the country’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre lowered the terrorism threat level to “critical” from the “severe” level of last week. The elevated threat level came in response to the arrest of more than a dozen people who allegedly planned to blow up as many as 12 airliners.

Passengers can now carry on one bag measuring 17.7 x 13.7x 6.2 inches (including wheels, handles, side pockets, etc.). All large electronic items, such as laptop PCs, must be removed and placed on a tray for security screening. Passengers may also carry on a small handbag.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration loosened its restrictions on carry-on liquids, saying passengers can bring up to 4 ounces of nonprescription liquid medicine and up to 8 ounces of liquid or gel medication for low blood sugar. However, TSA will now require all passengers to remove their shoes as they pass through security.

The United Kingdom still has a strict ban on liquids, gels, pastes and lotions in carry-on luggage, DFT said, except for baby food and formula and “essential” medicines, such as diabetes kits.

TSA said that aside from the exceptions made today it continues to ban all other liquids, pastes and gels except for baby formula in carry-on luggage. That includes first-aid creams such Neosporin, gel cap pills, and lip gels and glosses.

To save time and avoid having to throw away items at the airport, TSA urged travelers to check the list of prohibited items on the agency's Web site before they arrive at the airport.

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