The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is at least temporarily banning electronic devices larger than a cell phone on planes coming from 13 African and Middle Eastern countries, according to multiple news reports. The ban is expected to be announced this week.
The items to be banned include laptops, tablets, and other larger electronic devices, according to The Guardian, which reports Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Royal Jordanian airlines are among the airlines being asked to implement the ban. Passengers will still be able to bring such devices in their checked luggage.
Affected airlines will reportedly have 96 hours to begin complying with the new rule.
The rule will not apply to U.S.-based airlines, according to NBC News, which reports these kinds of restrictions typically happen when intelligence agencies have knowledge of certain possible threats. The Guardian claims there is a specific threat that will be explained by Tuesday.
Royal Jordanian warned passengers of the new rules via Twitter and Facebook on Monday, before the rules were supposed to be announced. Those posts, since deleted, say the rules are coming from "concerned U.S. departments" and that cell phones and necessary medical devices are not covered by the ban. It claims the rules affect flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal.
It's not clear if larger cell phones that are used like tablets will be affected, and officials have not released more specific details about how the rules work or why they're being implemented.
ATTN: reached out to the TSA for comment but did not receive a response before this article was published.