Portugal issues another travel warning to holidaymakers due to confusion over e-gates

Portugal issues another travel warning to holidaymakers due to confusion over e-gates. Credit Wikimedia

Portugal’s entry requirements for British tourists have been updated again

Earlier this month, Brits were told that they would be fast tracked through check-ins once they land in the country, similar to EU citizens. It ensured that UK visitors were eligible to use e-gates and skip passport control queues which non-EU countries have to follow, according to Chronicle Live.

The latest advice on GOV.UK states: “Check your passport is stamped by the border officer when you enter and exit Portugal as a visitor.” That is a slight alteration to the earlier version of the guidance, which previously stated, if you use a manned booth, check that your passport is stamped by the border officer when you enter or exit as a visitor.”

The “If you use a manned booth” line has since been dropped as all Britons need to get their passport stamped regardless of which gate they use. The guidance continues: “You can use the staffed immigration booths or, if you are aged 18 and over, the e-gates designated for UK and some other non-EU nationals. Hand your passport for stamping to the border officer after you have passed through the e-gate.”

The initial update was issued to ensure that British holidaymakers are aware of the important role that passport stamps play in policing its 90-day visa-free limit for short stays. “Border guards use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area,” the guidance says.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, a border officer may presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit. If you are missing entry/exit stamps, you can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area and ask the border officer to add this date and location in your passport.”

Portugal is a hot choice for many Britons who make up a large proportion of their visitors.

“Those who are fully vaccinated are permitted to enter the country without taking a test while Brits who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will need to provide a proof of a negative Covid test, either through a PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel, or a lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of your journey.”

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.