The European Commission has postponed plans to remove all restrictions on air passengers carrying bottled and canned drinks on to aeroplanes in hand luggage.

Rules currently prevent passengers carrying any drinks onboard, except miniatures and duty-free bought at a European Union (EU) airport, after security is cleared. Passengers cannot bring other drinks through security and face confiscations when boarding connecting flights.

These restrictions will now continue, despite the EC's initial aim to withdraw them in April next year. An EU assessment, released this week, concluded that liquid explosives pose a “still significant” risk, and that screening technology remains too weak.

Instead, the Commission recommends that, from January 2014, passengers should carry on board all duty-free purchases, provided they are adequately screened. Other restrictions may disappear later.