Chaotic scenes at Lisbon airport as 12 plane-loads of passengers try to clear passport control at same time

Lisbon airport was the scene of absolute chaos on Sunday morning as 12 plane-loads of passengers (roughly 1400 people) tried to clear passport control at the same time.

The massive throng of humanity – even though everyone was wearing masks – was contrary to all the rules in place for optimum control over the possible spread of Covid infections.

ANA airports authority and SEF borders agency appear to have blamed each other for the situation which everyone accepts was relatively short-lived.

It’s a story that has done the rounds of social media, eliciting endless negative commentary.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã described the bottlenecks as “images almost from the 3rd world”, concluding that they show, yet again, that the company in charge of the nation’s airports “has not done everything to safeguard passengers”.

ANA first came under fire over mass passenger bottlenecks in the summer when throngs crowded into Faro airport during the halcyon moments of the British airbridge (click here).

Again, the company laid the blame on SEF not having employed enough agents at passport control – but as SEF has repeatedly stressed, it is not the responsibility of the borders control agency to control physical distancing between passengers.

The problem on Sunday appears to have been exacerbated by two planes arriving later than scheduled.

The flights involved came from Brazil (five), North America (four) and Africa (three).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com