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UK to ease airport liquid restrictions

London, Nov. 2 (Reuters): Britain has agreed to partly lift its ban on liquids in hand luggage on airline flights from next week in a further easing of heightened security rules following a suspected plot to blow up airliners.

Passengers would be allowed to carry a limited amount of some liquids and pastes, including contact lens solution, toothpaste and perfume but not large drink containers, from November 6 under the changes, airport operator BAA said today.

Details of the new rules, backed by the European Commission last month, were announced by Britain and UK airport authorities. Disruptions and delays caused by the security measures had been heavily criticised by airlines.

The US partly lifted its ban on liquids in September.

“From November 6 passengers may carry a limited quantity of liquids i.e. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams and foodstuffs in their hand baggage when going through airport security checkpoints,” BAA, which owns London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, said.

Under the rules, the liquids must be in individual containers of 100 ml or less. The containers must be placed in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, no larger than 20 cm by 20 cm. Passengers are allowed one bag.

Exceptions would apply for medicines and baby food or milk, BAA said.

The UK banned most liquids and set smaller limits on carry-on bags in August following what police said was a foiled plot to blow up US-bound airliners leaving Britain using liquid explosives.

BAA has said the changes forced it to spend an extra £13 million and British Airways estimated its lost revenues, the cost of hotel rooms for stranded passengers and of repatriating lost luggage after the restrictions were imposed in August at £40 million.

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