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Feds: Selfie sticks, balloons, drones banned for Pope’s visit

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NEW YORK — Federal officials have enacted new security measures for the pope’s visit to New York City and Philadelphia later this month.

The Department of Homeland Security says Thursday the plan will include screening checkpoints and airspace restrictions.

Authorities say the checkpoints will be along the route of the pope’s motorcade and at events he will attend.

More than 25 items have been banned from papal events, including weapons, backpacks and glass or metal bottles. Also banned are balloons, selfie sticks and signs.

The Federal Aviation Administration will have a no-fly zone in parts of Manhattan and Queens.

Authorities say it will be illegal to fly a drone anywhere in the New  York City or Philadelphia during the pope’s visit.

Here’s the full list of banned items:

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Animals other than service/guide animals
  • Backpacks and bags exceeding the size restrictions (18” x 13” x 7”)
  • Balloons
  • Bicycles
  • Hard Coolers (Soft-sided thermal coolers ARE allowed)
  • Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Glass, thermal or metal containers
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace/Pepper spray
  • Packages
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Signs exceeding the size restrictions (5’ x 3’ x 1/4”) made of any material except cardboard, poster board or cloth
  • Structures
  • Supports for signs and placards
  • Toy guns
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard


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