Portugal becomes the first EU country to grant fast-track entry to Britons since Brexit, which could trigger a ‘domino effect’
- Is seen as an attempt to draw Britons away from rival destinations such as Spain and Italy
- UK passports now have to be checked manually, increasing waiting times
- But e-passport lanes were set up for Britons at airports in Portugal this week
Portugal has become the first EU country since Brexit to allow UK visitors to be expedited through e-passport gates.
The decision to treat British arrivals the same as Europeans could trigger “a domino effect” reducing border waiting times in other holiday locations, an expert has said.
It is seen as a bid to lure Britons away from rival destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece as travel booms after Covid.
After Brexit, the UK became a “third country“, meaning Britons lost access to electronic passport gates at EU airports. British passports now have to be checked manually, increasing waiting times.
The decision to treat British arrivals the same as Europeans could trigger ‘a domino effect’ reducing border waiting times in other holiday hotspots, an expert has claimed (file photo)
But at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Manila in the Philippines, it was revealed that e-passport lanes for Britons had been set up this week at airports from Faro in the Algarve, Funchal in Madeira, Lisbon and Porto.
Luis Araujo, president of Portugal’s tourist board, said the move would help “our valued British travellers”.
British travelers made up Portugal’s largest foreign visitor market in January and February, booking almost 484,000 hotel nights over the two months.
Paul Charles, of travel consultancy PC Agency, said Portugal’s decision could cause “a domino effect” on other EU countries “as UK travelers will find they face potentially longer waiting times like in Spain and Greece”.