Border officials gear up for Lunar New Year
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Hong Kong’s immigration officials expect to handle 8.18 million travellers during the Lunar New Year, up by 11 per cent over the same period last year.
Most of the travellers' journeys – about 70 per cent – would be via land crossings, the immigration department said on Tuesday.
About about 2.76 million travellers, or 276,000 per day, are expected to pass through the Lo Wu checkpoint during the busy holiday period between this Friday and Sunday, February 17, making it the busiest gateway.
This year, the official four-day Lunar New Year holdiay in Hong Kong begins on Sunday and ends on Wednesday; but, on the mainland, the holiday continues throughout the week with the normal workday resuming on Monday, February 18.
The peak period for arrivals to Hong Kong should be on Friday when 327,000 people are expected. Departures are expected to reach their peak levels next Wednesday, when 371,000 people leave the city.
Immigration division commander Wong Yin-sang said the department would put 100 more officers on duty at border checkpoints to handle the increased traffic.
He also said officers would step up their efforts to stop suspected parallel traders and pregnant women from entering Hong Kong during the busy season.
Wong said more than 2,000 names had been added to a list of suspicious travellers for officers to watch.
“So when these people come to Hong Kong, our officers will intercept and ask them in detail about the purpose of their visit,” he said. “We will not allow them in if they cannot give satisfactory reasons.”