Flying to the United States is about to become a lot more boring, if not downright aggravating. According to a new report from The Daily Beast, the Department of Homeland Security tomorrow will issue revamped travel guidelines that will prevent any passengers flying into the U.S. from Europe from travelling with laptops. The move comes just a few short weeks after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) banned travelers from eight Middle Eastern countries from bringing laptops and tablets on board of U.S.-bound flights.
“Initially a ban on laptops and tablets was applied only to U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East,” the report notes. “The ban was based on U.S. fears that terrorists have found a way to convert laptops into bombs capable of bringing down an airplane. It is unclear if the European ban will also apply to tablets.”
While the DHS said that it was merely considering such a move, European security officials told the publication that an announcement is just 24 hours away.
As mentioned above, the original impetus behind the laptop and tablet ban was rooted in overarching fears, perhaps based on intelligence information, that terrorists were planning to hide explosive devices inside of laptops and popular tablets like Apple’s iPad. Indeed, rumblings that the laptop/tablet ban would eventually expand to cover countries in Europe first came up a few weeks ago.
In a statement at the time, Gillian Christensen of the DHS said: “We’ve said we will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment, but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports.”