According to SIC Notícias, within one hour, 12 flights brought 1,200 passengers to the airport and most of them came from countries outside the European Union - namely the United Kingdom - which requires passport control.
Upon arrival, passengers must presented Covid-19 tests and digital certificates, as well as passports. This entire process occupied many SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) inspectors who were unable to avoid the increase in queues. Also, to make things worse, there was a pilot test to check passports that wasn't yet working at 100 percent.
“At a time in which it is necessary to control Covid-19 tests and digital certificates, along with the entry of British citizens, several foreign and border service posts were unable to respond to the movement on Friday morning”, reported SIC Notícias
João Fernandes, head of Algarve Tourism Board, told SIC Notícias that he had already talked to SEF, who assured him that the pilot project would be ready for the British half term holidays, when an increase in airport traffic is expected with the school break for British students.
Despite the crowds last week, Faro Airport remains at around 50 percent of traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels, where in October 2018 and 2019 it had around one million passengers landing.
The next day, on 16 October, this situation was not repeated.