Driving to Malaysia this Vesak Day weekend? These are the peak hours to avoid, says ICA

Traffic police will be stationed at critical junctions leading to the land checkpoints to ensure road discipline. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Those commuting between Singapore and Malaysia this weekend should expect heavy traffic at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Thursday (May 12).

This comes ahead of the Vesak Day holiday, which falls on Monday.

Departing traffic is expected to be heavy between Friday and Saturday, and those arriving between Sunday and Monday can also expect a longer wait.

ICA said: "At the peak of the Vesak Day holiday in 2019, travellers departing Singapore via the land checkpoints had to wait close to three hours.

"For this upcoming long weekend, travellers are thus advised to factor in additional time for immigration clearance, and to check the traffic situation before embarking on their journey."

Over the last long weekend covering Labour Day from April 29 to May 3, more than 950,000 travellers used the land checkpoints between Singapore and Malaysia.

That was the first public holiday since land borders fully reopened on April 1, the first time in two years that fully vaccinated individuals could travel freely between Singapore and Malaysia by land without testing or quarantine.

For the upcoming weekend, ICA expects departing traffic to be heavy on Friday between 3pm and 11.59pm, and between 6am and 10am, as well as 4pm and 9pm on Saturday.

When entering Singapore, heavy traffic can be expected on Sunday, between 5pm and 7pm, and next Monday, between 1pm and 11.59pm.

ICA said: "Travellers... are advised to adjust their travel plans to avoid being caught in the traffic jams where possible."

They can also take the cross-border bus services instead of driving in to Malaysia via private vehicles, it added.

Traffic police will be stationed at critical junctions leading to the land checkpoints to ensure road discipline, and travellers are advised to cooperate with instructions and keep to their lanes.

ICA also reminded departing Singapore-registered car owners to make sure their fuel tanks are three-quarters full before reaching the checkpoints, or they risk being turned away.

Travellers must also have passports that are valid, with at least six months before the expiry date, and the necessary permits.

ICA added: "Travellers are also reminded not to bring in prohibited items. Those bringing in dutiable or controlled items must proactively make declarations to our officers prior to being checked."

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