Passport move to Portugal set to banish long queues at airport for UK holidaymakers
UK holidaymakers traveling to Portugal in the coming months will be able to use automatic eGates upon arrival to speed up the security process at four of the country’s airports. eGates are now open in Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal (Madeira), making it easier for UK passport holders to enter holiday hotspots.
The new system, comprising four eGates, will create faster and more efficient border control for arrivals from the UK. Portugal is the first country in the EU to offer Britons rapid access upon arrival.
As a result of Brexit, UK citizens lost access to the EU airport’s e-passport system, meaning UK passports had to be checked manually, increasing waiting times . It is hoped that Portugal’s decision will spur other EU countries to follow suit, otherwise sun seekers could potentially face longer waiting times to enter countries like Spain and Greece .
New statistics show the UK was the top market for overnight stays in Portugal in February and the second largest contributor to overall tourism revenue for Portugal in January and February 2022.
Luis Araujo, President of Turismo de Portugal, said: “We are delighted to continue to welcome British tourists to Portugal and are pleased that eGates at major airports across the country are providing increased accessibility for our valued British travellers, as we are heading into the busy summer We are delighted to have made traveling in Portugal even smoother for those who can make the most of the new eGates.”
British visitors to mainland Portugal are no longer required to complete a passenger locator form and masks are only compulsory on public transport (including taxis and planes) and when entering hospitals, homes care and similar services.
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