SINGAPORE — Travellers planning to visit Malaysia during the upcoming school holidays are advised to factor in extra travel time as heavy traffic is expected at both Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints from Friday (10 March) to 20 March.
As traffic flow during peak hours has returned to pre-pandemic levels, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) also advised motorists and buses to prepare for a longer immigration clearance wait.
According to the ICA, the average waiting time for people departing or arriving by car via land checkpoints was about three hours during the March school holidays in 2019. This was similar to the waiting time travellers were told to expect during this year’s Chinese New Year period.
Maintain road discipline amid heavy traffic
About 362,000 travellers regularly crossed the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints during the year-end school holidays in 2022.
During that period, the ICA said that tailbacks from the Causeway had caused heavy traffic on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) to reach the Woodlands checkpoint.
“Motorists are also reminded to avoid queue cutting as it can cause severe congestion and compromise the safety of other motorists. They are advised to observe traffic rules, maintain lane discipline, and cooperate with officers on-site,” the ICA said, adding that it would work closely with the Traffic Police to ‘ensure road discipline at the critical junctions leading to the land checkpoints’.
Drivers are also advised to check the traffic situation at the land checkpoints through the Land Transport Authority (LTA) ‘s One Motoring website or via the Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System installed along the BKE and AYE.
Compliance with requirements
The ICA also reminded the public that it is mandatory for short-term visitors, including those who have been granted a long-term pass in principle, to submit their health declaration by the Singapore Arrival Card platform within three days before their arrival.
Due to the high traffic volume, Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders returning via the land checkpoints are exempt from submitting a health declaration.
However, they must still submit a health declaration if they enter by sea or air.
Those departing in Singapore-registered cars should also observe the three-quarter tank rule and make sure they have the required amount of fuel when leaving the country, or risk being issued with a composition sum of up to $500 or prosecution in court.
“They will be turned back at the checkpoints, and not allowed to proceed with their journey into Malaysia,” the ICA said.
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