11 Chinese nationals have been detained at Velana International Airport (VIA) on 4 February 2020, prior to their night-time flight from Malé to Shenzhen, China. The tourists were detained after their respective airline refused embarkation, as their passports carried Hubei Province, China, as their home address.

The Maldives’ government, on 3 February 2020, adopted additional border control measures as a Novel Coronavirus safeguard, restricting entry to all passengers, regardless of nationality—except for Maldivian citizens—who have China as their port of embarkation or have transited through Mainland China in the last 14 days before their departure.

The 11 Chinese nationals in question arrived in Malé as tourists on 26 January 2020. They are detained and in isolation, under standard procedures followed as safeguards against the coronavirus, for a period of 14 days, until 9 February 2020. None of the tourists had shown any symptoms of the coronavirus since their arrival in the Maldives.