Long lines at Madrid airport prompt hiring spree to deal with tourist surge

Long lines at the Madrid Barajas Airport in recent weeks should ease as the Spanish police work on hiring more staff to deal with the surge in tourism from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the government said on Tuesday.

With a reinforcement of 500 new hires, more than 1,700 officials will work at Spain's busiest airports, including in Madrid and Barcelona, to control the flow of foreign tourists that has increased markedly in the past weeks.

The long lines in Madrid are similar to problems at airports in Britain, Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe due to travel resuming as the pandemic eases.

To further ease pressure on arrivals, a separate queue will be set up for British tourists, the biggest group of foreign visitors to Spain, so they can use electronic passport gates, a police source said.

British travellers will still need to get their passports stamped after using the electronic gates, the source added.

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