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Can I refuse the airport body scanner?

Can I refuse an electronic strip search? It was one of the first questions asked when we first found out about Manchester airport's new body scan security measure. The answer is, quite emphatically, no.

No, you can't refuse to go through the airport body scanner, be pictured in the buff (well, virtually) and checked over for concealed weapons/explosives/liquids by trained security staff. Not if you want to get on your flight, that is.

Yesterday's news - that two women were stopped from boarding their flight to Islamabad from Manchester airport because they refused to go through the body scanners - left it quite clear where the public stand if they opt out of the security measure.

Passengers at Manchester and Heathrow airports are now being randomly selected to go through the new scanning machine and there's absolutely no excuse that can let you off the hook. The two unfortunate women on this flight cited health and religious reasons for not wanting to pass through the scanner, though neither objection cut it with security staff.

All worth bearing in mind if you're the modest sort, partial to a bit of privacy for your, er, private parts.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.