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Heavy traffic expected at land checkpoints over school holidays: ICA

Those planning a trip to Malaysia during the upcoming March school holidays should factor in more travelling time as heavy traffic is expected at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints from Friday to March 20.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday advised those travelling by car or bus to take into account a longer wait for immigration clearance as traffic flow during peak hours has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

At the peak of the March school holidays in 2019, the average waiting time for people departing or arriving by car via the land checkpoints was about three hours. 

ICA anticipates similar heavy traffic at both land checkpoints for the upcoming March school holidays, and is also expecting tailbacks from Malaysia.

During the year-end school holidays in 2022, about 362,000 travellers crossed the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints daily. ICA said there were several examples of heavy departure traffic on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) towards the Woodlands checkpoint owing to tailbacks from the Causeway.

“Motorists are also reminded to avoid queue-cutting as it can cause severe congestion and compromise the safety of other motorists,” said ICA, urging motorists to observe traffic rules, maintain lane discipline and cooperate with officers on-site.

It advised motorists to check the traffic situation at both checkpoints on the Land Transport Authority’s OneMotoring website, or the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System installed on the BKE and Ayer Rajah Expressway, before embarking on their journey.

Updates on traffic conditions will also be posted on ICA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and broadcast on local radio stations Money FM 89.3, Kiss92, One FM 91.3, 96.3 Hao FM and UFM100.3.

All short-term visitors, including those with in-principle approval for a long-term pass, are required to submit their health declaration using the SG Arrival Card platform no more than three days prior to their arrival in Singapore.

Due to the high volume of traffic and daily commuting for employment and studies, Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders are exempted from submitting a health declaration if they are returning to Singapore via the land checkpoints.

They will have to submit a health declaration if they enter via sea and air checkpoints.

Travellers should not bring in prohibited items, and those leaving in Singapore-registered cars are reminded to observe the three-quarter tank rule.