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It looked scary.
You have probably seen the video of hordes of people pushing through the police at the Johor Bahru immigration building on Friday (Oct 22).
Will such scenes be replayed on Monday (Oct 24) as travellers return to Singapore from Malaysia at the end of the long Deepavali weekend?
The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) released an advisory on Oct 19 for those travelling via the land checkpoints during the holiday weekend.
ICA noted that over the recent weekend (Oct 14 to 16), traffic flow through Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints has returned to approximately 80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels with about 325,000 travellers per day. At peak periods, the volume has reached pre-COVID levels.
"At the peak of the Deepavali long weekend in 2019, travellers departing and arriving by car via the land checkpoints had to wait up to two hours before they were cleared through immigration," added ICA.
ICA advised travellers returning to Singapore to avoid the peak period of 6pm to midnight on Deepavali, which is Monday.
"Travellers departing via Woodlands Checkpoint may also wish to note the ongoing upgrading works at the bus halls of Bangunan Sultan Iskandar," said ICA.
"Some of the automated clearance lanes at the bus halls are undergoing replacement and installation works, and will not be operational from Oct 16 until Nov 10."
Following the viral video of the incident at the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex (CIQ), Johor Bahru South district police chief Raub Selamat said in a statement on Saturday: “Around 8pm on Friday, more than 5,000 travellers arrived at the complex, causing two hours of congestion from the passport clearance counter to the bus terminal.
“There are a few incidents of pushing, but we have managed to control this incident from escalating further.
"Authorities at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ have also tightened surveillance and control with the assistance of the auxiliary police and the Rela volunteer corps.
“The congestion had eased around 10.30pm."