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Tightened security measures now being implemented on US-bound flights from Mexico

Personal electronic devices that are to be brought on United States-bound flights from Mexico would now be subjected to a more thorough security check as Mexican officials implemented the change at the request of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Any electronic device ‘larger than a cellphone’ would have the new measures applied to it, said Mexico’s Transportation Department in a statement.  After announcing the policy amendment, the department asked that passengers travel with as few of those devices as possible in carry-on bags.

Though they were vague in the details of the said checks, they are said to take place separately from baggage, without cases or covers.

The news comes on the heels of the TSA announcement that it was removing a ban on passengers on Saudi Arabian Airlines carrying large electronics such as laptops onboard US-bound flights.

Restrictions were applied back in March on passengers bringing along laptops and other personal electronic gear inside airplane cabins on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, to address the potential threat of hidden explosives.

Last month, American authorities announced updated security requirements for all airlines as opposed to an expansion of the ban. Since then, restrictions have been lifted on many airlines after the measures were implemented to the letter.

A TSA spokesman announced that the government had lifted the restrictions at Saudi Arabian Airlines’ main hub in Jeddah at King Abdulaziz International Airport on Monday. A spokesman also added that US officials would take a closer look at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport this week to ‘confirm compliance there as well’.

The DHS released an amended directive to airlines all over the globe in response to requests that it explain aviation security measures that are slated to begin taking effect later this week.

An airline official briefed on the matter said the directive offered airlines more flexibility and additional time to acquire explosive trace detection equipment.

The directive includes technical adjustments, agency officials said, declining to release the text. European airlines have been pushing for changes to meet the new requirements. DHS has said that it could impose new restrictions on laptops if airlines do not make security upgrades.

European and U.S. officials said that airlines have until July 19, to put in place enhanced explosive trace detection screening and other measures and 120 days to conform with other security measures, including enhanced screening of airline passengers.

The new requirements are comprised of enhanced passenger screening at foreign airports, increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas and expanded canine screening.

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