Portugal becomes first EU country to give fast-track entry to Britons

Portugal becomes first EU country to give fast-track entry to Britons

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 the EU’s airport passport e-gates. British passports must now be checked manually, increasing waiting times.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’.

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, 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’.

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