UK airport liquid ban gets lifted

by Emily DUNBAR on December 6, 2010

The ban on liquids imposed by airports worldwide since April 2006 is set to be lifted in the UK.

Airport restrictions on items like perfume, shampoo and bottled beverages including water, are going to relax beginning next year, however, officials say it could be 2013 before airline passengers notice a difference. The strict guidelines, which have caused headaches for endless numbers of travellers, have been a point of contention between security and passengers.

With volumes of cosmetics and bottles of water confiscated around the world, Heathrow, alone, collected 2,000 tonnes of liquid items each year the ban was in place. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said that the ban would be relaxed, but that it could be 2013 before the effect takes place.

The rules, which applied to liquids, aerosols and gels, expire in 2013, which will allow more relaxed measures to take their place. Although, liquids above 100ml will now be allowed on board, items must still be in a clear plastic bag and all liquids will still be subjected to security measures.

The move will also allow duty-free liquids, which were previously banned arriving from certain countries, to be allowed on board in carry-on luggage. By 29 April 2013, when the ban lift takes full effect, all European airports must have certain machinery in place, designed to test for suspicious liquids.

Mr Hammond expressed sympathy for travellers, saying that it was difficult, particularly for mothers that have had to taste their children’s food to prove it was not concealing explosives.

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