SINGAPORE: As the year-end school holidays kick off, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has issued a warning about anticipated heavy traffic congestion at both Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints from now until 2 Jan 2024.

During the recently concluded Deepavali long weekend, the ICA reported an unprecedented surge in passengers at land checkpoints, exceeding 1.53 million.

This surpassed the passenger count recorded during this year’s long Labour Day and Vesak Day weekends. Passengers driving through the border during peak hours experienced significant delays, with wait times stretching up to three hours to clear customs.

The ICA also noted that it has implemented heightened security measures at the checkpoints in response to the developing situation in the Middle East. Authorities are urging travellers to incorporate additional waiting time or customs clearance time into their itineraries, particularly on weekends when congestion is expected to peak.

As part of the security measures, the ICA has issued a reminder to passengers passing through customs to exercise discretion regarding displaying items related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The authority emphasized that public displaying a foreign flag without a permit violates the Foreign National Emblems (Controlled Display) Act 1949.

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Those who fail to comply with these regulations risk facing firm action, including denial of entry into Singapore.

The ICA will closely monitor the situation and adjust security measures as needed to ensure the safety and efficiency of border crossings during this busy holiday period. Motorists are advised to check the ICA’s social media pages to be updated on the latest traffic conditions along both land checkpoints.