The Immigration Department estimates that about 9.24 million passengers, including Hong Kong residents and visitors, will pass through Hong Kong’s sea, land and air control points during the upcoming “golden week” National Day holiday and Mid-Autumn Festival period from Sept. 29 to Oct. 8.
About 76 percent, or around seven million, will pass through Hong Kong’s five major land boundary control points. The number of inbound passengers will be at its highest on Oct. 2 with over half a million passengers arriving, while the number of outbound passengers heading for the mainland by land will reach its peak on Oct. 7 with around 401,000 passengers departing the city.
Lo Wu will be the busiest control point, and it is estimated that there will be around 2.69 million passengers, with a daily average throughput of about 269,000. Passenger traffic at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Shenzhen Bay and Lok Ma Chau control points will also be heavy.
To cope with the anticipated spike in traffic during the festive period, the department has redeployed additional staff to reinforce various control points and set up extra clearance counters and kiosks. Additional security guards will be deployed to provide crowd management support.
Furthermore, the Police, Customs and Excise Department as well as MTR Corp. will set up a joint command center at Lo Wu, with close communication with the mainland frontier inspection authorities, and traffic diversion plans will be adopted when necessary.
To avoid congestion and a longer than usual waiting time for immigration clearance, the government said all land passengers should plan in advance and avoid making their journeys during busy periods, and check radio and TV broadcasts on traffic conditions.
The expected busy times at boundary control points and estimated waiting times are available on the website of the Immigration Department and its smartphone app, Hong Kong ImmD, that can be downloaded for free from Apple App Store and Google Play.
The department will also upload daily passenger statistics for festive period to its website.
For travelers making journeys to the mainland, they are reminded to carry their proof of identity and valid travel documents.
Hong Kong residents should also check the validity of their home visit permits. Non-permanent residents must carry their valid smart identity card as well as their document of identity for visa purposes or valid travel document.
About 600 e-channels have been installed at various control points. Hong Kong residents enrolled for the Express e-Channel should re-enrol if they have been issued with a new identity card.
Hong Kong residents who require assistance while traveling outside Hong Kong may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868.
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