Asia: Lunar New Year to Cause Government Closures and Travel Delays

Millions of people are expected to travel throughout East and Southeast Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls on January 28, 2017.

Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak January 27 to February 1 and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated until February 2.

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 match the following observance dates:

  • Hong Kong: January 28-31

  • Indian diplomatic missions in the region will generally be open except for those in South Korea and Taiwan, which will be closed on January 27 and 30-31, respectively.

  • Macau: January 27 (starting 1 pm) to February 1

  • Malaysia: January 30

  • People’s Republic of China: January 27 to February 2

  • Philippines: January 28

  • Singapore: January 27 (afternoon) to January 30

  • South Korea: January 27-30

  • Taiwan: January 27 to February 1

  • Vietnam: January 26 to February 2

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 offices reopen.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK