Washington, Mar 21 (EFE).- The United States is requiring electronic devices larger than mobile phones to be placed in checked baggage on direct flights to the US from eight Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Starting Tuesday, passengers on non-stop flights from those countries to the US will not be allowed to take devices such as tablets and laptops on board the aircraft as carry-on luggage and instead will be required to check them with their other baggage.
The restriction affects roughly 50 flights a day to the US from 10 international airports in Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, who anonymously provided details on the order, said the measure did not respond to any specific threat or risk of an imminent attack against the US.
President Donald Trump’s administration determined a need to enhance security protocols affecting travelers on certain non-stop flights to the US, they said.
Previously, US authorities had only required travelers on overseas flight to the US to turn on their electronic devices before boarding the aircraft.
That measure was put in place in 2014 due to fears of a potential attack involving explosives hidden in those devices.
The new restriction follows Trump’s second executive order banning the entry to the US of travelers from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending the US refugee program for 120 days due to fears of infiltration by terrorists.
The new order, which amended a previous one issued in January and challenged by the courts, has also been stayed by two federal judges.