Full list of UK airports who have U-turned on new liquid rule in 7-hour warning

The Government has reinstated rules on 100ml liquids for UK passengers at six airports in response to concerns over new scanners. Airports across the country had been rolling out new technology that allows passengers to keep liquids of larger sizes inside their hand luggage instead of transferring them to a separate clear, plastic bag.

But six airports equipped with this technology have been directed to enforce old regulations, starting at midnight on Saturday. It means passengers will only be able to take 100ml containers of liquids, aerosols, and gels (LAGs) on holiday once again.

In an unexpected announcement on Friday evening, the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed the temporary change in a statement. It said: "This temporary move is to enable further improvements to be made to the new checkpoint systems and will only affect a small number of passengers. For most passengers, security measures will remain unchanged."

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The DfT confirmed that passengers flying from the following six airports would be affected from midnight tonight (Saturday, June 8):

  • London City

  • Newcastle

  • Leeds Bradford

  • Aberdeen

  • Southend

  • Teesside

Birmingham Airport also announced a return to 100ml liquid rules before the government statement was announced. A spokesperson for the DfT elaborated on the specifics: "From 0001 on Sunday 9 June 2024, 100ml restrictions on liquids will temporarily be reintroduced for passengers travelling from six regional airports where Next Generation Security Checkpoints (NGSC) are in full operation."

What are the rules?

The airports will abide by the 100ml rule, meaning passengers can only take liquids, gases and aerosols of that size or below in carry-on luggage.

It is understood that they will still allow passengers to leave their liquids and laptops within their carry-on baggage rather than isolating them in separate trays. Birmingham airport has also adopted this method.

Why the new rules?

Transport Secretary Mark Harper spoke to BBC Breakfast about the rationale behind the reinstatement of the rule. He said: "We've reintroduced that rule while updates, changes are made to the scanning equipment at the airport to make sure we can continue delivering our world-leading levels of aviation security. It's a temporary measure and we'll set out when that can be reversed in due course."

Some airports employing the new scanners have reported unanticipatedly long queue times due to a surge in rejections - necessitating hand checks of carry-on baggage.

The liquid restrictions were originally put in place back in 2006 as a response to a thwarted "liquid bomb plot" targeting a transatlantic flight. Birmingham airport had hastily returned to the old 100ml limit for liquids just days before the national decision, citing regulatory obstacles.

Queues for security at the airport have stretched outside of the doors for the terminal on several days recently. The CEO of Birmingham airport, Nick Barton commented: "Since opening our new security area, and despite being one of the first UK airports to comply, we have been limited on the use of our multi-million-pound equipment due to an outstanding regulatory restriction meaning we had to limit liquids to 100ml. This rule has now been implemented nationwide.

"Despite the 100ml rule still being in place, we continually have non-compliant bags with liquids over the allowance, which have led to inefficiencies of our equipment and resulted in extended queueing time for customers. It is now imperative that all customers comply with the nationwide rule, to ensure a smoother and simpler transition through the airport. A non-compliant bag with liquids over 100ml can add up to 20 minutes to each passenger's journey through security."