(Xinhua/Huang Wei)

Chinese authorities to partially resume Macau SAR visas from August 12

Mainland China authorities will resume the issuing of all types of visas allowing the entry of mainland residents in the Macau SAR – with the exception of tourism visas – Guangdong health authorities announced.

The policy does not cover tour group visas or the much-awaited individual visa scheme but will allow applications for business, government, family, or study-related visas.

Guangdong authorities revealed the new Chinese State Council policy decision it in a reply to Wong Chan Man, a Macau deputy in the Guangdong Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

The Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) allows mainland residents to visit Macau and Hong Kong in their individual capacity, and currently covers 49 Chinese cities, but has been suspended since January of this year.

Reinstating the IVS has been considered a crucial step for recovering the local economy, with about half of mainland tourists last year having travelled to the SAR through individual visas.

Until August 12 Guangdong residents will already be allowed to apply for visas to travel to Macau other than travel visas.

Since July 15 the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has also allowed Chinese provinces to resume inter-provincial group tours, but policies concerning tourism trips to Macau has yet to be announced.

Guangdong authorities also pledged to continue promoting communication with the Macau SAR, further deepen collaboration to control the pandemic with both SARs, and focus on integrating the monitoring of information and use of nucleic acid tests in Greater Bay Area.

‘Since the immigration policy belongs to the central authority, matters related to mainland residents’ travel to Macau are yet to be further clarified by the relevant state departments. Guangdong will pay close attention to relevant national policies, and adjust according to the changes as well as to strictly implement them,’ the Guangdong Provincial Covid-19 Prevention and Control Command Office indicated.