100ml liquid and electronic devices security rules to be scrapped at UK airports

It's set to be "the biggest shake-up" of airport security rules in decades.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 15th December 2022

Going through airport security could soon be a different experience as rules around liquid limits and electronic device removal are set to be relaxed.

Over the next two years, most major airports in the UK – including Manchester Airport – are to introduce what are being described as “cutting-edge technology systems” into their security checkpoints, which will not only end up being more convenient for travellers, as you’ll no longer need to spend time taking items out of your bags, but it’s also expected to make the passenger experience safer, as security staff will have more detailed images of what people are carrying.

Passengers are currently required to remove all electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, from their cabin baggage, while liquids also have to be removed and are limited to 100ml and must be in a clear plastic bag.

This requirement will eventually be lifted, and the 100ml liquid container limit will be extended to two litres, the government says.

It’s set to be “the biggest shake-up” of airport security rules in decades.

Going through airport security could soon be a different experience come 2024 / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The current liquids rules – which were introduced in 2006 following a terrorist threat – have been designed to stop those with hostile intent carrying liquid explosives onto planes.

The government says the introduction of new technology is ushering in “a new era” of improved security and passenger experience when going through departures, and follows several trials conducted at some airports since 2018, which have “demonstrated the effectiveness” of this new screening equipment and technology.


These changes are all due to new regulations being put in place by the Department for Transport (DfT) today to remove parts of EU law that governs how new technology and processes can be implemented – which the government says will make it easier to streamline the processes that apply to UK airports in the future.

The government also believes these changes will further improve what are “the already high-security standards” in the UK. 

/ Credit: Manchester Airport

A deadline for all major UK airports to install the new technology has been set for 2024.


Until this deadline, passengers must follow the same rules as now until further notice, or unless told otherwise, and crucially, they should check with their specific airport before travelling to see which rules are in place.  

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They should also check the rules for carrying liquids at any airport through which they may transfer during their journey and at their return airport, as many destinations may not have implemented this new technology.

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