The U.S. government is preparing to require passengers arriving from eight Mideast or North African countries to put their electronics larger than a cellphone in their checked luggage, according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Associated Press and Reuters. But certain medical devices will be permitted in the cabin.
The new security measure came to light when Jordanian Airlines disclosed it. The airline has deleted a tweet it posted, replacing it with a notice that more information is coming.
The Associated Press reports that laptops, tablets and cameras are among the items covered by the alert regarding flights originating in eight countries:
“A U.S. official told The Associated Press the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 international airports serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The ban was indefinite, said the official.”
The countries involved are majority Muslim but aren’t those targeted by President Trump’s travel restrictions. The president’s revised executive order singled out Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. That order, like Trump’s first ban, has been blocked by federal courts and is under appeal.
No American carriers are to be covered by the ban, according to Reuters. The wires service also quotes congressional aides as saying Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called members of Congress over the weekend to notify them of the move.
The officials didn’t specify what threat had prompted the new measures.