The UK terror threat has been downgraded from "critical" to "severe" today. The news means that gadget lovers will once again be able to travel with iPods, mobile phones and laptops on airplanes.

Airport operator BAA said the new rules on hand luggage, which will allow passengers to take certain items on board, should have come into force at its airports at Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen from noon on Monday

Those travelling from Heathrow and Gatwick, however, will have to wait until tomorrow before current restrictions are lifted.

The new rules, which are for the foreseeable future are that while passengers will be able to take electronic equipment on board, any form of liquid, fluid, lotion or gel will be banned, except prescription medicine as long as verified authentic, and baby milk and baby food, which must be tasted by the accompanying passenger.

The new rules will also affect hand luggage sizes. From now on, only a medium-sized item of hand luggage will be permitted. The dimensions must not exceed a maximum length of 45cm, width 35cm and depth of 16cm.

As predicted, laptops and electrical items must be removed from the bag and placed in a tray at security checks.

The decision to downgrade was taken yesterday by the Joint Terrorism and Analysis Centre (JTAC), which co-ordinates all the UK's security and intelligence agencies to assess the terrorism threat.

In a statement, Home Secretary John Reid explained today that this was because JTAC felt that a terrorist attack, while still "highly likely", was no longer "imminent".