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British tourists can use electronic passport gates at three Portuguese airports to travel faster


Three Portuguese airports popular with British tourists now have electronic passport gates that British travelers can use to cross the border faster.

Prior to Brexit, British passport holders could use electronic gates at European Union airports. But their rights have changed since the UK officially left the EU at the end of 2020.

With the easing of coronavirus restrictions across Europe, many British tourists will be soaring in the coming months. Portugal is a particularly popular choice, with many low-cost flights from Jet2, TUI, EasyJet and Ryanair flying from airports around the country, including regional airports like Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Birmingham and East Midlands. .

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While UK passport holders can no longer use EU e-gates, three Portuguese airports have installed new sets of e-gates which UK passport holders can now use. The gates have been operational since April 2022.

“The new system provides faster and more efficient border control on arrivals from the UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand as well as Singapore,” reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Airports in Portugal British tourists can use electronic passport gates

Electronic passports allow travelers to scan their documents to enter a country. The other option is to walk to the manned border control and have your passport checked by an official. Electronic gates are generally faster than the old fashioned method.

electronic gates for British passport holders are now operational at Lisbon Airport in the Portuguese capital; Faro Airport, in the Algarve; and Funchal Airport in Madeira.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says: “When arriving or departing, check that you are authorized to use the electronic gates and that you are in the correct queue. When you use an electronic door, your entry/exit is recorded on a computer system. A border agent can also stamp your passport after you pass through the electronic gate; this for operational reasons of the airport.”

If you use an e-gate, you do not need to stamp your passport, as the e-gate will register that you have entered the EU. If you are not using an e-gate, it is important to have your passport stamped, so border officials cannot charge you with overstay. After Brexit, UK passport holders are allowed in the EU for three months without a visa.

The FCO adds: “Border guards use passport stamps and electronic gate registrations to verify that you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If the entry stamps or relevant exit information is not in your passport or visible to a border official on the computer system, a border official will assume that you have exceeded your visa exemption limit. You can prove when and where you entered or left the Schengen area, and ask the border official to add that date and location to your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.”

How long do you need in your passport to travel to Portugal?

To enter Portugal as a tourist, the date of issue of UK passports must not be more than 10 years from the day the passport holder enters Portugal. There has been some confusion over this, with some airlines requiring passenger passport issue dates not to exceed 10 years throughout their stay in the EU.

Passports must also be valid for at least three months after the day the passport holder plans to leave Portugal or the EU.

Portugal’s latest Covid-19 entry rules for fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated people

British tourists can enter mainland Portugal and the Azores islands without needing to take a Covid test if they are fully vaccinated or have fully recovered from Covid within the last 11 to 180 days. Those not fully vaccinated must present either proof of a negative PCR test taken no later than 72 hours prior to boarding or a rapid lateral flow test taken no later than 24 hours prior to departure.

There are no Covid-19 entry requirements for Madeira.

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