Asia: Lunar New Year to cause Government closures; travel delays

Millions of people are expected to travel throughout East and South-East Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls on February 8, 2016. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak February 5-10, and could last longer in Taiwan and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through February 13.

To meet the travel demand, some airlines have increased flights, and railways have added additional trains. However, potential poor weather may exacerbate delays.

The government office holiday closure periods should match the following observance dates:

  • Hong Kong: February 8-10
  • Indian diplomatic missions in the region: February 8-9
  • Indonesia: February 8
  • Macau: February 8-10
  • Malaysia: February 8-9
  • People’s Republic of China: February 7-13
  • Philippines: February 8
  • Singapore: February 8-9
  • South Korea: February 7-10
  • Taiwan: February 8-12
  • Vietnam: February 8-12

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Due to government office and business closures during the Lunar New Year, travellers should book travel in advance and should expect travel delays and interruptions.

Visa and permit applicants should submit applications as early as possible, and should contact their processing office to determine exact closure dates and the effect on individual applications. Applications submitted nearer to closure dates may not be accepted or acted upon until government office reopen.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK