Cross-boundary passenger traffic arrangements for Lunar New Year festive period

12 February 2015

The Immigration Department estimates that around 7.88 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong's sea, land and air control points during the upcoming Lunar New Year festive period (from February 17 to 25), representing an increase of about 7.7 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Among them, about 72.4 per cent or around 5.70 million passengers will pass through land boundary control points. The number of outbound passengers using land boundary control points will reach its peak on February 17 (Tuesday) with around 362 000 passengers departing Hong Kong, while the number of inbound passengers will be at its highest on February 22 (Sunday) with around 432 000 passengers arriving in Hong Kong.

Lo Wu will be the busiest control point and it is estimated that there will be around 2.25 million passengers, with a daily average of about 250 000 passengers, travelling via this control point during the festive period. The passenger traffic at the Lok Ma Chau, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and Shenzhen Bay control points will also be heavy, with daily average forecasts of about 79 000, 155 000 and 114 000 passengers respectively.

To cope with the anticipated heavy traffic during the festive period, the Immigration Department has redeployed additional staff to reinforce various control points and has minimised leave for front-line officers for flexible deployment and operating extra clearance counters and kiosks. Additional security guards will also be deployed to provide crowd management support.

Furthermore, the Immigration Department, the Police, the Customs and Excise Department and the MTR Corporation will set up a joint command centre at Lo Wu Control Point to make necessary arrangements. The Immigration Department will also establish close communication with the Mainland frontier inspection authorities. To ensure smooth passenger traffic flow, passenger conditions will be closely monitored and appropriate traffic diversion plans will be adopted when necessary.

To avoid congestion and a longer waiting time for immigration clearance than usual, the Immigration Department advises all cross-boundary passengers to plan in advance and avoid making their journeys during busy periods, and to keep track of radio and TV broadcasts on traffic conditions at various control points. The expected busy times at land boundary control points are available on the website of the Immigration Department at www.immd.gov.hk. Furthermore, Hong Kong residents and visitors may also check the estimated waiting times of all land boundary control points at any time or place via the Immigration Mobile Application (ImmD Mobile App). They can then plan their trips effectively and save time queuing up at control points. The ImmD Mobile App can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store (supports iOS version 4.3 or above) or Google Play (supports Android version 2.2 or above). The links for downloading can also be found on the Immigration Department website, www.immd.gov.hk. In addition, information on public transport services to and from various control points is available on the Transport Department website at www.td.gov.hk.

The Immigration Department will upload daily passenger statistics for the above festive period on its website at www.immd.gov.hk for public reference.

For travellers making their journeys to the Mainland, the Immigration Department reminds them to carry their proof of identity and valid travel documents for crossing the boundary. 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.

Holders of the acknowledgement receipt issued due to reported loss or replacement of their Hong Kong identity cards, or children under 11 years old who hold Hong Kong identity cards, should carry a valid travel document or Re-entry Permit.

Over 400 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. Furthermore, re-enrolment is required for Mainland visitors who have renewed their booklet-type Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao or their exit endorsement. Eligible holders of the electronic Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (e-EEP) can enrol for the e-Channel service by using their e-EEP and undergoing the enrolment process at a traditional entry counter on their first visit to Hong Kong. Eligible Mainland visitors who have renewed their e-EEP have to go through the aforesaid enrolment process again before they can use the e-Channel.

Hong Kong residents who require assistance while travelling outside Hong Kong may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department at (852) 1868.