Brits are being urged not to break a simple rule affecting passports when they leave Portugal this summer, with a possible ban on entry into the country if they’re wrong
Brits traveling to Portugal this summer must ensure they check their passports before departing.
The Western European country has a specific rule that does not apply to other EU member states.
Portugal recently confirmed that travelers from the UK can use the e-gates when entering and exiting the country.
The decision – the first of its kind by an EU member – should significantly speed up the entry and exit process.
However, Brits need to be careful whizzing through E-terminals on their way back to the UK.
The British Foreign Office has warned that all British travelers leaving Portugal must have their passports stamped, otherwise they will face logistical difficulties later.
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The organization’s website states: “E-gates are operational at Lisbon, Faro, Porto and Funchal (Madeira) airports for UK and some other non-EU passport holders.
“Check that your passport is stamped by the border officer when entering and exiting Portugal as a visitor.
“If the relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport or are not visible to a border official in the computer system, a border official may assume that you have exceeded your visa-free limit.”
Passports must be stamped from all EU countries to show traveling Brits comply with the new 90-day visa-free travel rules.
If you don’t get a stamp, you may be banned from entering Portugal in the future.
Some Britons have already broken the rule.
An elderly Briton was banned from entering Spain last year over a post-Brexit problem with her travel documents.
The woman – known only as Linda, 72 – traveled from Gibraltar to Spain to visit her son but was detained at the border as her passport did not have an exit stamp from a previous trip.
Brits entering and exiting the Schengen area are now required to have entry and exit stamps, but passport authorities forgot to stamp Linda when she last visited the country in June.
When she attempted to visit again, she was refused entry and classified as an “overstayer”.
“I was denied entry to Spain on September 26 because my passport was not stamped upon exit from a previous week-long visit to Spain that started June 4,” Linda said The Local.
“The guards first stamped my passport for entry, then they noticed that I had no exit stamp from that week-long visit in June and therefore classified me as an overstayer, and then marked the entry stamp with the letter F and two lines.”
Linda said she has evidence she returned to the UK, including banking activity and information from the Test and Trace Covid app, but claims border guards won’t accept her evidence – or even look at it.
She added: “My son, who speaks Spanish, tried to explain that I had other evidence of returning to the UK but the guards would not accept it or even consider looking at it; They only insisted that I had no stamp, that I had overstayed and would be arrested as illegal.”
Many travelers are also surprised by new post-Brexit passport requirements.
The documents must not have been issued more than ten years ago and can remain on them for up to six months from the point of departure.
Portugal has followed other European countries in significantly relaxing its entry requirements.
Anyone who is fully vaccinated can enter mainland Portugal and the Azores without being tested.
Those who are not bitten must have a PCR three days or less before entry or an antigen in the 24 hours before departure.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/europe/crucial-warning-brits-travelling-portugal-27058758 Important warning for Britons traveling to Portugal on holiday this summer