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A plastic bag holding 100ml liquids at an airport
Photograph: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock

British airports are apparently going to ditch the 100ml liquid rule

Could this spell the end of tiny toothpastes and mini shampoos?

Ella Doyle
Written by
Ella Doyle

We’ve all been there. Scouring the pick ‘n’ mix aisles of the airport Boots, rootling among the mini shampoos and tiny toothpastes and coming to the slow and slightly harrowing realisation that they call cost pretty much the same as the normal-size ones. Gah.

Well, it looks like our mini-toiletry days are to be no more, as the government has announced that restrictions on liquids in hand luggage could be axed by 2024. More advanced scanners are going to get rolled out that year, and that means we’ll be allowed take larger containers through security.

The 3D scanners get a clearer view of what’s in your bag, as they are able to zoom in on the bag’s contents and rotate the image, eliminating the need for you to use those tiny bottles. Restrictions would also be lifted on tech, so you wouldn’t have to take your laptop out of your bag either. Ministers have been carrying out a review and an announcement is expected to be made before Christmas.

The scanners were meant to be installed a few years ago but got delayed because of Covid. Since 2006, travellers have only been able to take liquids under 100ml through customs, and they’ve got to be kept in a clear plastic bag. Before that, there was a ban on liquids altogether after a plot to blow up ten planes was uncovered that involved the explosives being planted in drinks bottles. 

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