436,800 travellers cross S'pore and Malaysia land borders over Good Friday weekend

ICA said that it implemented several measures to cope with the influx of travellers over the holiday weekend. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Some 436,800 travellers crossed the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia over the Good Friday weekend.

The number passing through the land checkpoints at the Causeway and Second Link between last Friday (April 15) and Sunday was almost 25 per cent more compared with the same period in the previous week.

A surge in traffic on Thursday evening, when snaking queues were observed outside the Woodlands Checkpoint, saw the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) processing 112,700 departures on that day itself.

The Straits Times understands that this figure is by far the highest number of daily departures recorded since the borders fully reopened to travellers vaccinated against Covid-19 on April 1.

ICA said on Tuesday (April 19) that a total of 242,500 travellers arrived via the Causeway or the Second Link between Friday and Sunday.

Of these, 79,200 arrived either by bus or on foot, 105,300 by cars and 58,000 on motorcycles.

Meanwhile, the 194,300 departures from Singapore comprise 61,900 travellers by bus or on foot, 77,600 by cars and 54,800 on motorcycles.

Long queues were seen outside Woodlands Checkpoint on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

ICA said on Tuesday that it implemented several measures to cope with the influx of travellers over the holiday weekend.

At Woodlands Checkpoint, where travellers walking or taking the bus would have to go through, police and ICA officers were deployed to maintain order.

On Friday morning, ICA temporarily redirected some of the public buses into the Woodlands Checkpoint's bus concourse. This allowed passengers to enter the checkpoint directly, without having to queue outside the checkpoint in heavy rain.

"At the car and motorcycle clearance zones, ICA officers on the ground were able to make flexible adjustments and deployments quickly, based on real-time demand of each conveyance mode," added ICA.

"As most of the travellers had their documents ready, they could clear immigration smoothly."

Prior to the peak traffic at the land checkpoints beginning at 5pm last Thursday, a total of 662,900 people had departed Singapore via the Causeway and the Second Link after borders reopened on April 1.

Meanwhile, 601,700 people had arrived in Singapore via the land borders then.

People queueing to enter Johor Baru immigration before entering Singapore on April 17, 2022.

Before the pandemic, about 415,000 people used the Causeway and Second Link daily. The Causeway was one of the world's busiest land crossings.

While the current volume of travellers is still much lower than pre-pandemic levels, a sense of normality has been restored to the two land checkpoints since April.

Many Malaysian workers have returned to commuting daily to Singapore. Some Singaporeans have also returned to Johor for short getaways.

Vehicular traffic has largely remained at manageable levels at the Causeway and Second Link, with one reason being the backlog of Malaysian vehicle owners waiting for their vehicle entry permits to be processed.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.