The government’s chief spokesman announced Thursday that the opening hours of three Macau-Zhuhai border checkpoints will be extended from December 18.
According to the announcement, the Macau Cotai-Hengqin checkpoint will be open 24 hours seven days a week.
The Barrier Gate’s opening hours will be extended by one hour each in the morning and at night, while the Macau-Zhuhai Cross-border Industrial Zone checkpoint will be open for specific segments of the population from midnight to 7 a.m. every day, in addition to special work permit holders who are already allowed to cross it 24/7.
The government’s chief spokesman Alexis Tam, who heads the office of Chief Executive Chui Sai On, made the announcement during a special press conference at Government Headquarters.
Tam said that the new arrangement was a “policy to benefit local residents and it also shows the central government’s support for the local economy and for improvement of locals’ livelihoods.”
He also said the new border service hours would further improve exchanges between locals and mainlanders.
Asked by reporters as to whether the new border checkpoint hour would possibly lead to a decrease in local property prices but an increase of those in Zhuhai, Tam said that “this is likely to happen .. .definitely based on economic principles”.
Tam also said he believe that more locals would want to live in Hengqin or elsewhere in Zhuhai after the border checkpoints have longer opening hours which would possibly result in changes in the local property sector´s supply and demand situation.
According to information provided by the local government Cotai-Hengqin border checkpoint (also known as Lotus Flower Bridge checkpoint) will be open 24 hours.
Under the new arrangement tour coaches, with double licence plates, and pedestrians (locals, non-residents workers and tourists) can cross the checkpoint 24 hours a day while lorries will remain restricted from 8:am to 8:pm.
From December 18, local residents, workers imported from mainland and those studying in the Macau will be allowed to cross into Zhuhai through the Cross-border Industrial Park checkpoint in Ilha Verde between midnight and 7 a.m. However, private cars and coaches as well as tourists are banned from using the checkpoint.
The Barrier Gate border check-point currently operates from 7 a.m. to midnight daily. From December 18 it will open at 6 a.m. and close at 1 a.m.
Tam said that once the future pedestrian checkpoint across the Duck Channel in Ilha Verde starts operating it will be open 24 hours every day, while the checkpoint in the Cross-border Industrial Zone will revert to its current opening times and conditions.
Tam also said that regarding the opening of the Barrier Gate border during 24 hours, seven days a week, the Macau government “will continue working hard moving towards that goal. First it´s opening hours are extended and then one day it will definitely be open 24 hours”.
“The local government will continue to pass the idea to the central government in Beijing”, he said.(macaunews/macaupost)