The Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, recently announced plans to open fast-track lanes in Faro Airport for British citizens after Brexit. These dedicated lanes will also be available in Funchal Airport on the island of Madeira, and could be rolled out to other airports across the country in the future. The lanes for UK citiznes will be operated similar to the lanes set up for EU nationals. Costa has also stated that these dedicated, fast-track lanes will be available regardless as to whether the UK leaves with or without a deal.
In a recent statement, António Costa stressed the importance of tourism from the UK, saying that “Millions of Britons visit Portugal as tourists every year – we have to ensure the flow is not interrupted”
Holidaymakers from the UK form a significant portion of people travelling to destinations across Portugal, with Faro and Funchal reported to receive a large amount of UK tourists. Last year, there was a record number of 13 million tourists travelling to Portugal. A large percentage of these tourists have travelled from the UK, and the Portuguese government is eager to continue attracting more holidaymakers from the UK regardless of the outcome of Brexit.
Further plans to ensure these dedicated lanes are run smoothly and efficiently were also announced, with a total of 60 more customs officers are to be hired to help with post-Brexit border checks. British citizens currently living in Portugal will also be allowed to retain their residence as well as other rights, including state healthcare. Portuguese citizens living in Britain are also being offered improved consular assistance.