24-hour border crossing operational from Dec 18

1 border XinhuaThe long-awaited 24-hour border crossing between Macau and Zhuhai will become reality in the early hours of December 18, the government spokesperson Alexis Tam announced yesterday.
From Dec 18, the Lotus Bridge Cotai Frontier Post (connected to Hengqin) will be operating around the clock. Meanwhile, the operation hours of the Border Gate (connected to Gongbei) will be extended by an hour before and after. The border checkpoint will open at 6 am and close at 1 am.
Additionally, late night crossings though the Cross-Border Industrial Zone Border Checkpoint (located in Ilha Verde) will be open to Macau resi-
dents, non-resident workers and students between midnight and 7am the next morning.
“This good news is one of the preferential policies from the Central Government for the 15th anniversary of Macau’s handover. We’ve strived to achieve this since three years ago [when] the Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Framework Agreement was signed,” Tam stated. “Our goal is to achieve 24-hour border crossing at the Border Gate.”
According to Tam, the opening up of the Ilha Verde checkpoint to the public will only be temporary. Once the nearby Guangdong-Macau New Border is completed it will be put into operation around the clock.
“In order to avoid disturbing the Ilha Verde neighborhood, the Industrial Zone Border Checkpoint will not be open to tourists; the new policy doesn’t apply to private cars or passenger cars either, but only to pedestrians,” he added, explaining that the checkpoint is currently open 24 hours to only those who hold a pass into the Industrial Zone.
The spokesperson further clarified that the 24-hour border crossing at the Cotai Frontier Post will be applied to both travellers and passenger cars, while the border-checking hours for goods vehicles will remain the same. Similarly, the cargo clearance at the Barrier Gate will also remain at current opening hours.
To supplement the new policy, some bus routes will be adjusted and extend their service hours. The Transport Bureau (DSAT) director, Wong Wan, said at the announcement that some 200 bus shifts will be added to the routes every day.
“The new border-crossing policy will alleviate pressure on the city’s overall transportation; it can significantly divide the passenger flow in the morning rush hour,” he stressed.
“Currently there are 19 bus routes that pass by the Barrier Gate. All of them will extend service hours in accordance with the border-crossing hours,” said Wong. “The routes that departed before 7am will move up to 5.45 a.m., and those closing off at 12.30 p.m. will be postponed to 1.15 a.m.”
Wong said that the 19 bus routes have basically covered the entire scope of the city, yet to facilitate the 24-hour border crossing, Route 25 and Route N3 will extend their bus stops to the Cotai Frontier Post, and all the current routes that pass by the Post will extend their service to the whole day.
At the press conference, the Public Security Police (PSP) deputy-director, Mui San Meng, also said that the numbers of border-checking channels, as well as personnel, would be increased accordingly.
“In fact, a 24-hour operational checkpoint will need much more space, facilities and personnel, we have submitted a proposal to the government for expanding the Cotai Frontier Post,” he added.

realtor predicts price cuts in macau rentals

the implementation of the 24-hour border crossing between Macau and Zhuhai will be a stimulus to Macau’s real estate market and the tourism industry, especially for the property rental and retail sectors. As the new policy facilitates local residents and non-local workers to rent and purchase properties in Zhuhai, the rental prices for apartments in Macau may drop by 10 to 15 percent, predicted Midland Macau’s CEO, Mr Ronald Cheung. “The biggest impact will be on the rental prices, as 70 to 80 percent of local residents own a flat and most of the tenants are non-resident workers,” he explained. “On the other hand, rental prices of commercial units will rise slightly, as the shops and restaurants can hire workers for night shifts and extend their business hours until 2 to 5 am.” Mr Wu Keng Kuon, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, also told the Times that the extended border-crossing will be beneficial to the local economy, but won’t affect the guest volume for Macau’s hotels.

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