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New rules on liquids in hand luggage go into effect at EU airports

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) Passengers were allowed to take only small amounts of liquids on board airplanes Monday as strict new security measures on hand baggage went into effect across the European Union.

The new EU rules limit passengers to carrying just over three ounces of liquid per container on board planes, part of regulations imposed after British police said in August that they had broken up a plot to bring down U.S. bound flights with liquid-based explosives.

New restrictions on the size of carry-on luggage will be introduced in April.

All liquids, not only water and soft drinks but also soups, creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, sprays, gels, toothpaste and shaving cream are subject to security checks before passengers board their planes.

The containers must fit into a clear re-sealable plastic bag to be presented at security checkpoints, officials said.

The new rules do not affect liquids packed in checked luggage, or drinks and perfumes bought at airport shops after passengers clear security.

Baby foods and medicines also are exempt but can be subject to inspection, officials said.

``All airports in the European Union must apply the new regulations to protect civil aviation against the threat of homemade liquid explosives,'' EU spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said over the weekend. ``Liquids in hand luggage have to be put in a separate bag.''

The rules went into effect Monday at all airports within the 25 nation EU and in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Passengers also are required to remove coats and jackets at security checks, and remove laptop computers and other large electrical items from bags for inspection.

Starting April 17, new rules on cabin baggage will limit hand luggage to a maximum 22x17x10 inches, with exceptions for some items, such as musical instruments.
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