Singapore simplifies travel: QR codes replace passports at land checkpoints | Travel - Hindustan Times
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Singapore eases travel hassles, introduces QR code system in place of passports for border crossings

Bloomberg | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz
Mar 12, 2024 04:05 PM IST

Travellers arriving and departing Singapore via Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints will from March 19 only need a scanned single QR code

Singapore is making it even easier for people to come and go from the tropical city-state, allowing drivers crossing into the country through two land checkpoints to use a QR code instead of their passports.

Tourists walk on the Supertree skywalk at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Singapore eases travel hassles, introduces QR code system in place of passports for border crossings. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)
Tourists walk on the Supertree skywalk at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Singapore eases travel hassles, introduces QR code system in place of passports for border crossings. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Travellers arriving and departing Singapore via Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints will from March 19 only need a scanned single QR code, which they can generate prior to arriving and which can be used for all people in a vehicle, the nation’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority said in a statement.

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Overall wait times, which can often stretch to hours in busy periods when workers are trying to cross the border from Malaysia, should be reduced by around 30% if most car travelers use the QR code for clearance, the authority said.

Singapore will also extend the passport-free clearance to other land checkpoints with Malaysia, further easing congestion at what is one of the world’s busiest border crossings.

As travel picks up to near full speed after Covid, Singapore has also been deploying new technologies at Changi Airport, frequently voted one of the world’s best for its futuristic feel and efficiency. Residents and visitors leaving the island will progressively be able to clear those checkpoints without having to use their passports either.

The government said last year that manual counters at all passenger halls will gradually be replaced by about 800 automated lanes using a new contactless automated border control system from the first quarter of 2024. The system was trialled at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 in 2019. Some 5.43 million people passed through Singapore’s main airport in January.

Tuesday’s move should also help pave the way for the upcoming Rapid Transit Link project between Singapore and Johor Bahru in Malaysia. The project, with a peak capacity of up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction, is expected to up and running by the end of 2026.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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