Those with e-passports can skip long queues and physical checks and use electronic gates at Lisbon, Faro, Porto and Funchal in Madeira omitting Brexit rules
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Brit holidaymakers are poised to get fast-track entry to Portugal in huge boost for travellers.
Sun-seeking families are to be treated the same as EU citizens after Portuguese authorities shunned Brexit and threw open the country’s airport e-gates to people from the UK.
The nation has gone against the wishes of the EU and will treat Brits the same as people from other countries at the border.
Those with e-passports can skip long queues and physical checks and use electronic gates at Lisbon, Faro, Porto and Funchal in Madeira doing away with Brexit rules
The UK is treated as a “third country” by the EU under legislation since Brexit was introduced, but EU countries are permitted to use their own rules regarding travel.
It is the first nation to abandon the EU policy of airport manual checks and the move will welcome millions of UK visitors a year through e-gate channels.
The move, it is thought, could prompt other EU countries including France and Spain to follow suit.
Paul Charles, the chief executive of the PC Agency, a travel consultancy, told the Telegraph: “Portugal is clearly leading the way in recognizing 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 travelers will face long delays going into France, Spain, Greece, Italy and other countries.”
Portuguese airports’ e-gates can also be used by visitors from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Japan.
Brits will also not need to wear face masks indoors, after Portugal said there was no longer facemask requirements in the country.
The new rules happened earlier than expected after they were published in an official State Bulletin.
The sunshine hotspot has also ended the need to fill in passenger locator forms for those visiting from overseas.
It follows the relaxation of mask rules on masks in Spain.
Tourists have been able to ditch face masks after two years where they were previously required in almost all indoor places such as shops and hotels
The scrapping of masks came into force in Spain from Wednesday,
However both face coverings must still be worn in hospitals and public transport in Spain and Portugal.
The Mirror told how last summer Portugal dropped its requirement for PCR tests for visitors after the country changed its entry requirements for UK travellers.
In June 2021 travelers were still required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, but this can now be either a PCR test or an antigen test.
PCR tests then needed to have been taken within 72 hours of travel, while antigen tests needed to be taken within 24 hours of travel.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.