Amidst the continuing battle over President Trump’s revised travel ban, the U.S. government has issued new restrictions on travelers from select countries.From The Hill:
U.S. government officials have temporarily banned most electronics on certain flights into and out of the country, according to Jordan’s national air carrier.Royal Jordanian posted on Twitter Monday that “following instructions from the concerned U.S. departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited.”
The ban does not apply to cell phones or medical devices, but does include laptops, tablets, electronic games and cameras. Those items can be stowed in checked baggage, however.When asked for comment on the new restrictions, U.S. officials would not confirm the reports. It appears possible the ban is in response to an elevated threat:
U.S. officials on Monday would not confirm or deny the temporary ban.
“We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security.But the ban appears to apply to 13 countries for the next 96 hours, according to Fox News, and could be in response to a new intelligence threat — not related to President Trump’s revised travel ban, which was frozen before it took effect last week.
Although similar moves targeting specific countries has drawn recent controversy, these restrictions appear aimed at a specific threat. Since travelers will still be able to bring their devices with them, it is unlikely the policy will see any legal challenges.
Reports have yet to indicate which 13 countries are impacted by the ban. However, the policy does apply to all travelers flying in and out of the named countries, regardless of citizenship status. Whether or not the 96 hour window is for all effected countries remains unclear.
More on this story as it develops.[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]