25 April 2013
The Immigration Department estimates that around 4.20 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong's sea, land and air control points during the upcoming Labour Day festive period (April 27 to May 1), representing an increase of about 7.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Among them, 76 per cent or around 3.20 million passengers will pass through land boundary control points. The number of outbound passengers using land boundary control points will reach its peak on April 27 with around 335 000 passengers departing Hong Kong, while the inbound traffic will be at its heaviest on April 28 with around 342 000 people arriving in Hong Kong.
Lo Wu Control Point will be the busiest. During the festive period, it is estimated that there will be 1.42 million passengers, with a daily average of 283 000 passengers, travelling via Lo Wu Control Point. 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 86 000, 151 000 and 97 000 passengers respectively.
To cope with the anticipated heavy traffic during the festive period, the Immigration Department has redeployed more than 100 staff to reinforce various control points, and minimised leave for front-line officers in order to operate extra clearance counters and kiosks. Additional security guards will 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 closely monitor passenger traffic conditions and make necessary arrangements. The Immigration Department has also established close communication with the Mainland frontier inspection authorities to ensure smooth passenger traffic flow.
To avoid congestion and a longer than usual waiting time for immigration clearance, the Immigration Department advises cross boundary travellers to plan in advance and avoid making their journeys during busy periods. They should 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. Information on public transport services to and from various control points is available on the Transport Department website at www.td.gov.hk.
The non-stamping immigration clearance arrangement for visitors was implemented on March 19, 2013, and all arriving visitors at immigration control points will be issued with landing slips in lieu of stamping in their travel documents. Upon departure, no slip will be issued and the travel documents will not be stamped. The landing slip bears the visitor's English name, travel document number, arrival date, conditions and limit of stay in Hong Kong. Visitors are advised to keep the landing slip while in Hong Kong. If a visitor loses the landing slip, he or she may apply for its replacement free of charge at the Extension Section on the fifth floor of Immigration Headquarters. Under normal circumstances, loss of a landing slip will not affect the holder's departure clearance.
The Immigration Department reminds travellers to carry their proof of identity and valid travel documents when travelling. They should also check the validity of their travel documents.
A total of 407 e-Channels have been installed at various control points. Passengers enrolled for the Express e-Channel should enrol again if they have been issued with a new identity card. Furthermore, Frequent Visitor e-Channels are installed at various control points for enrolled frequent visitors. Re-enrolment is required for Mainland visitors who have renewed their Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao or exit endorsement.
Hong Kong residents who require assistance while travelling outside Hong Kong may call the Hong Kong Immigration Department's 24-hour hotline at (852) 1868.