Long queues expected at land checkpoints for Labour Day, Hari Raya long weekend; travellers advised to avoid peak periods

SINGAPORE: During her shift over the Good Friday long weekend, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) main screening officer Qaisarah Mohamed Hata had a passport flung in her course by an aggravated traveller.

Frustrated by the queue, the ready time and the truth that he was parked at a counter the place the ICA officer – SGT Qaisarah – was seated on the passenger aspect of the automotive, the driving force’s frustration boiled over.

“He was in his car and he didn’t want to step out,” she informed reporters on Wednesday (Apr 27). “After that, he realised he was wrong, he went over and picked up the passport (from the ground).”

The man was one of many 436,800 travellers who used the land checkpoints throughout the Good Friday long weekend, the primary such prolonged break following the total opening of the Singapore-Malaysia land border.

In an advisory issued on Wednesday, ICA stated it expects much more folks for the upcoming Labour Day (May 1) and Hari Raya Puasa (May 2) holidays and can allocate manpower accordingly.

“ICA officers on the ground will adjust the car and motorcycle zones flexibly, based on the real-time demand of each conveyance mode,” stated SUPT Sim Chun Yong, Woodlands Checkpoint senior assistant commander.

“To avoid getting caught in traffic congestions, we advise travellers to space out their travel and avoid the peak periods.”

ICA will deploy extra officers throughout the peak periods, he added. These officers shall be concerned in safety checks in addition to site visitors administration at Singapore’s land checkpoints.

If mandatory, ICA can even open all automated and guide lanes at passenger halls.

ICA stated that departing site visitors is expected to be heavy between Friday (Apr 29) and Saturday (Apr 30). Arrival site visitors is expected to be heavy between Tuesday (May 3) and Wednesday (May 4).

It can also be advising travellers to avoid departing Singapore between 1pm on Friday and 1am on Saturday, in addition to between 5am and 3pm on Saturday. For these arriving from Malaysia, ICA is advising travellers to avoid doing so from 8am on Tuesday to 1am on Wednesday.

“Before embarking on the journey, motorists are also advised to check the traffic situation at the land checkpoints through the One Motoring website or via the Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System (EMAS) installed along the BKE and AYE respectively,” stated ICA.

“Motorists can also check ICA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on the traffic situation at both land checkpoints.”

At the peak of the National Day and Hari Raya Haji long weekend holidays in 2019, ICA famous that the ready time for travellers departing Singapore by way of the land checkpoints stretched to 4 hours. Those arriving by automotive had to wait up to one hour throughout the identical interval.

ICA stated these have been pre-pandemic figures and advised travellers to think about extra time for immigration clearance, and to verify the site visitors scenario earlier than embarking on their journey.

“In terms of the traffic volume, we have yet to reach pre-COVID levels, but we are seeing the number going up and we are expecting the number to continue going up over the next few months,” stated SUPT Sim.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 415,000 travellers used the land checkpoints day by day, with the determine rising throughout festive peak periods. 

“I am mentally preparing myself for (the) volume of traffic that is going to come in. We already know what to expect, so I’m ready to face it,” stated SGT Qaisarah, the officer who confronted the irate passport-hurling traveller. 

“(We hope travellers can) just be patient with us and other travellers. Everybody is trying to go in and out and if they can just cooperate, then it will be a very smooth transaction for them.”

Long queues expected at land checkpoints for Labour Day, Hari Raya long weekend; travellers advised to avoid peak periods

Matthew Mohan

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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