Rules on liquids and laptops to be eased at UK airports from June 2024

Passengers at most airports to be allowed two-litre containers of liquid, in major relaxation of 2006 rules

Rules around taking liquids and laptops through airport security will be eased from June 2024, the government has said.

The announcement of the biggest relaxation of aviation security regulations in decades confirms reports last month that the change would come in the year after next.

Passengers at most major UK airports will be able to carry liquids in containers holding up to two litres, a huge increase from the current limit of 100ml.

Travellers will also no longer need to carry the containers in clear plastic bags, or remove tablets and laptops from hand luggage at checkpoints.

The Department for Transport said major airports would be required to install new technology that gives security staff more detailed images of what is in passengers’ bags. It will lay new legislation around the changes in parliament on Thursday.

Last month London City airport revealed that it would be the first UK hub to allow passengers to leave laptops and liquids in their hand luggage when passing through security. It said it was trialling one security lane equipped with the necessary advanced baggage scanners and planned to introduce the machines in all of its lanes by April.

Current airport security rules were introduced in 2006 after a foiled terror plot to blow up planes flying from London to the US with homemade liquid bombs.

Travellers failing to adhere to them is one of the biggest causes of delays at airport security.

The transport secretary, Mark Harper, said: “The tiny toiletry has become a staple of airport security checkpoints, but that’s all set to change. I’m streamlining cabin bag rules at airports while enhancing security.

“By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queueing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threats.

“Of course, this won’t happen straight away – this is going to take two years to be fully implemented. Until then, passengers must continue following the existing rules and check before travelling.”

The deadline of June 2024 is being introduced after several trials at airports, which started in 2018.

The CT scanners create a 3D image of what is inside passengers’ bags. It is already being used at overseas airports such as Schiphol in Amsterdam and several in the US.

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