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Return of group tours, individual visit scheme may boost Macau recovery

But China's lockdowns strategy will counter overseas travel.

Analyst, Jefferies, said they expect an eventual Macau recovery due to the potential revival of group tours and electronic individual visit scheme, which were suspended in early 2020 due to strict infection policies.

However, the recovery could be hounded by China's stringent health rules, which will also deter overseas travel.

"Travel and quarantine policies are quickly changing as highlighted, effective from 19 September, individuals entering Zhuhai via the Zhuhai-Macao ports are required to hold a negative nucleic acid test certificate within 48 hours (previously 24 hours)," read the report.

There are still more than 20 Chinese provinces on the Macau government's medium-high risk list where arrivals should be monitored for seven days.

The step-by-step gradual visa and quarantine policy revisions showed a positive outlook for the market but since tours will begin in late October, there could be an uncertain timeline on when Macau will recover.

READ: HK scraps compulsory hotel quarantine for inbound travellers

"We expect the upcoming Golden Week holidays in October will disappoint given the delayed group tour start date combined with the epidemic-prevention policy for Hong Kong and Taiwan arrivals remains 7+3 days (medical observation and self-management)," said Jefferies.

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