Coronavirus: Golden Princess suspect tests negative for COVID-19 - report

The owners of a cruise ship berthed off Akaroa say a suspected coronavirus patient's test has come back negative.

Passengers on board the Golden Princess were now allowed off the ship after it arrived in the area on Sunday morning.

The ship's doctor quarantined three passengers, with one of them showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Canterbury District Health Board's Dr Ramon Pink said on Sunday a precautionary approach was being taken.

"We realise this is disappointing news for other passengers and tourism/hospitality operators in Akaroa and Canterbury who were expecting to host the passengers today," he said. "We cannot risk the potential further spread if this person tests positive."

The passenger's test was negative, a spokesperson for the Golden Princess told Newshub.

The ship will now return to Australia, the rest of its New Zealand journey cancelled.

New Zealand has had eight confirmed cases of the disease so far, all of them in arrivals from overseas. There has not yet been any reported community transmission on our shores.

Strict travel restrictions kicked in at 1am on Monday morning, forcing almost all arrivals to go into enforced self-isolation for 14 days.