Brits to get fast-track entry to Portugal in big boost for holidaymakers


SUN-starved Brits are set to get fast-track entry into Portugal as the nation defies the EU by planning to treating UK citizens the same as its own at the border.

Holidaymakers from the UK will be treated the same as EU citizens in a shun of Brexit demands – with the Portuguese government throwing open its airport e-gates to Brits.


Brits are set to get fast-track entry into PortugalCredit: Alamy

It means Brits with e-passports will be able to nip past lengthy queues for manual checks – as previously required under Brexit – and instead use e-gates when arriving at Lisbon, Faro, Porto and Funchal in Madeira.

Under Brexit requirements, the UK is treated as a “third country” by the EU – but member states are allowed to set their own rules when it comes to travel.

Portugal is the first country to ditch the EU policy of manual checks at airports and will instead welcome the three million UK visitors a year through special e-gate channels.

It’s thought the move could prompt other EU countries such as France and Spain to follow suit.

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Paul Charles, the chief executive of the PC Agency, a travel consultancy, told the Telegraph: “Portugal is clearly leading the way in recognising that they have to process vast numbers of British visitors as seamlessly as possible otherwise there would be long queues this summer.

“So it’s a clever way of differentiating themselves from other countries who are not processing in the same way.

“I think you will see other EU countries follow this approach otherwise British travellers will face long delays going into France, Spain, Greece, Italy and other countries.”

The special e-gates at Portuguese airports can also be used by travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Japan.

In a further boost for Brits hoping to holiday in Portugal, they will no longer have to wear face masks indoors, after the country announced they would be scrapped.

The new rules took effect yesterday – several hours earlier than initially expected – after being published in an official State Bulletin.

Portugal has also ended the requirement to fill in passenger locator forms for people travelling to the country.

The relaxation of the rules on masks follows a similar move by Spain.

British tourists arriving in Spain have been able to ditch their face coverings for the first time in nearly two years in virtually all places indoors including shops and hotels since Wednesday.

However in both Spain and Portugal, face coverings still have to be worn in hospitals and on public transport.


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