New air passenger security rules come into effect across the EU today, limiting what can be carried in hand luggage and introducing more stringent security checks.
The measures were drawn up after British authorities in August announced that they had foiled an alleged plot to blow up US-bound airliners using liquid explosives smuggled aboard in drink or other containers
Under the new rules, which will apply to all passengers departing from EU airports, liquids will only be allowed on board planes in small containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters.
These liquids -- the rules cover creams, hair gels, pressurized containers and mascara among other items -- must then be packed in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag.
Medicine and baby foods will be exempt as will drinks and perfumes bought at airport shops before boarding.
European Commission Transport spokesman Ferran Tarradellas-Espuny said that the new rules also stipulated that laptops and "other large electrical devices", including radios and video cameras, will have to be taken out and screened separately. Jackets and coats will also have to be removed.
He said that the new rules are "minimum measures that all EU airports have to apply" and that "member states can take more stringent measures if required."
The spokesman said that passengers arriving at EU airports would not be affected and even for departing passengers larger quantities of liquids could be carried in checked-in luggage.
Airports and airlines around Europe have been gearing up for the new measures for weeks, with some offering transparent plastic bags to passengers at least during the first days of the new regulations.
Italian airports will hand out plastic bags for the first several days of the new rules, but advise passengers after that to bring their own "kind of freezer bags."
Dutch airline KLM is recommending passengers arrive early for flights to avoid "irritation."
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has taken on 600 temporary staff to help explain the new rules to passengers.
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