Heading to Malaysia this long weekend? These are the peak hours to avoid, says ICA

Traffic on the Causeway on Good Friday, April 15, 2022. ICA said it expects more people to enter Malaysia via the land checkpoints this coming weekend. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Those planning to head to Malaysia during this long weekend should brace themselves for congestion at the Causeway and Second Link, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Wednesday (April 27).

It expects even more people to cross the land checkpoints this weekend - which includes back-to-back Labour Day and Hari Raya Puasa public holidays - than the 436,800 travellers during the Good Friday weekend.

Travellers should factor in additional time for immigration clearance and avoid peak hours, ICA added.

Harking back to the long weekends before the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority highlighted that wait times were up to four hours long for those entering Malaysia via the land checkpoints during the peak National Day and Hari Raya Haji long weekends in 2019.

Those entering by car then also had to wait for up to one hour.

The Good Friday weekend that started on April 15 saw long lines at the land checkpoints as traveller numbers hit a new high since the pandemic.

Labour Day falls on Sunday this year, making next Monday a public holiday, followed by Hari Raya Puasa on Tuesday.

ICA said departing traffic is expected to be heavy between 1pm on Friday and 1am on Saturday, and from 5am to 3pm on Saturday.

When entering Singapore, congestion can be expected from 8am on Tuesday to 1am on Wednesday.

ICA said it will take the necessary measures to facilitate efficient immigration clearance but will not compromise on security.

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.

On May 1, cross-border bus services will resume their routes plying the Causeway and Second Link.

Travellers can take these instead of driving into Malaysia to avoid getting caught in a jam, ICA added.

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