The United States plans a new ban on in-flight electronic devices aboard airplanes flying from at least 10 locations in the Middle East and North Africa, according to reports.
American officials tell the Associated Press that the ban, which will be announced on Tuesday, covers nonstop flights from Egypt originating in Cairo, and those from Casablanca in Morocco.
Few details have been officially released, but senior officials have confirmed that the ban would include larger mobile devices like laptops or tablets, which would have to be checked with baggage. It does not limit the use of smartphones or medical devices that a passenger may need while in flight.
The AP said the new ban was confirmed by Royal Jordanian Airlines. Other news outlets including CNN and The Guardian saw a social media message about a ban beginning as early as Wednesday on the company’s official Twitter account and saved it before it was deleted. The airlines replaced it with a message late Monday that said, “Further updates will be announced soon regarding #electronicsban.”
Although the American Transportation Safety Administration did not plan to announce their directive to the specific airlines until 3 a.m. Tuesday, the AP was given a list of 10 cities where originating flights will be subject to the stricter regulations.
The reason for the ban remained a mystery as well, as there was little confirmation of any credible threats that might have prompted the move. A high-level U.S. source, however, said security officials had been considering the ban for weeks for that reason, according to Reuters.