Portugal allows Brits fast track entry

First EU country to give fast-track entry to Brits since Brexit

fast track e-gates

The Daily Mail reports that Portugal has become the first EU country since Brexit to allow UK visitors to fast track through electronic passport gates.

The move to treat British arrivals the same as Europeans could spark ‘a domino effect’ throughout the EU, reducing border waiting times at other holiday hotspots, an expert said.

It is seen as a bid to lure Britons away from rival destinations such as SpainItaly and Greece as travel booms after Covid.

After Brexit the UK became a “third country”, meaning Britons lost access to the EU’s airport passport e-gates. British passports must now be checked manually, increasing waiting times.

e-gates set up in Funchal

But at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Manila in the Philippines, it was revealed passport e-gate lanes for Britons were set up this week at airports in Faro in the Algarve, Funchal in Madeira, Lisbon and Porto. Luis Araujo, president of Portugal’s tourism board, said the move would help ‘our valued British travellers’.

The Mail observes that UK travellers made up Portugal’s biggest overseas visitor market in January and February, booking nearly 484,000 overnight hotel stays over the two months.

Paul Charles, of the PC Agency travel consultancy, so often quoted in the press, said Portugal’s move could lead to ‘a domino effect’ on other EU nations ‘because British travellers will realise they face potentially longer waiting times in the likes of Spain and Greece’.

Thanks to Maurice for the link

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

14 thoughts on “Portugal allows Brits fast track entry”

  1. Just remember that when you go through passport control on the way home to get an exit stamp. The passport should get swiped so your exit is logged but just in case check it is stamped.

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  2. Thanks for info Maurice. Visiting for first time since 2018 in June. Apart from flying from Manchester with Ryan Air and staying with Pestana (been nearly every year since 2003. Not a record I know) but looking forward to our two weeks in the place where we felt at home when we walked of the plane.
    However where and when do we get this exit stamp and what is it for?

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    • Now we are out of the eu we can only spend a max 90 days in 180 days inside the Schengen area. When you arrive you get a stamp in your passport and you need to get it stamped on the way out. You have to be careful otherwise you may be accused of over-staying.

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      • Maurice,

        It doesn’t affect me, but I’m curious.

        If Brits go through fast-track e-gates on arrival, how will they get an entry stamp in their passports?

        (and if they don’t get an entry stamp, they won’t need an exit stamp …)

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        • When you arrive at passport control they swipe your passport(the long string of letters & numbers on the photo page) they then, in theory, should stamp the passport with a date/entry stamp. When you leave they should again swipe the passport and stamp it with a date/exit stamp. If you use the e-gates on the way in the your entry is registered and the stamp is not needed. There aren’t e-gates for exit so you are reliant on the immigration guy both swiping and stamping the passport so you are not accused of over-staying. If your passport doesn’t get swiped properly and you don’t get the exit stamp the Schengen system will show you as still being there and ultimately an over-stayer. At least if you have the exit stamp you have proof you left.

          Of course this doesn’t just apply to Portugal/Madeira. If you drove to Dover and crossed to Calais and drove around Europe and came back via Hook-of-Holland to Harwich you must ensure you get swiped & stamped on the way in and out.

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  3. No sign of any fast track e gates at FNC yesterday – still manual inspection – one for EU passports and Residencia document holders – one for ” Other Passports “

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    • There some e-gates over on the right-hand side as you enter the passport control hall. You should be able to use them with a British passport now.

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  4. The stamping of passports is a bit of a joke. We had our passports stamped at FNC last year for both entry and exit. Problem was, the stamp ink was running low on exit and is so feint it cannot be read. We visited Tenerife in December and at passport control, they did not bother to look to check any EU stamps in the passports, just stamped them. Now all these stamps are on different pages so they do not stamp entry and exit stamps together. Most passports are full of visas, stamps etc and it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack to check if you had not spent more than 6 months in the EU, particularly with the stamps being on different pages and illegible!

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