Two New Zealand passengers leaving the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

They were barred from taking the evacuation flight which left Tokyo at 5am.

The pair were among eight New Zealand passengers due to arrive in Auckland tonight.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said during final medical checks, two of those passengers tested positive for Covid-19 and did not travel on the flight.

They are being treated in hospital in Japan and MFAT consular staff remain in contact with them.

Two New Zealand passengers leaving the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Photo / AP
Two New Zealand passengers leaving the Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Photo / AP

Earlier, two other New Zealand passengers had contracted the virus and are also being treated in hospital in Japan.

It was reported yesterday that another 88 people on the ship had tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of those infected to 542.

There were originally 3,700 people on board the ship when it docked in Yokohama on February 4.

More people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus. Video / 7 News

Japanese health officials said 65 of those who had been recently confirmed as infected were not showing any symptoms.

The 14-day quarantine period for the ship ends today, and passengers have been told if they test negative they will be able to leave.

Many countries have already made arrangements to take their citizens home. On Monday the US evacuated 330 Americans who had been on board the ship, while 11 New Zealanders remained on board.

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They were been offered the opportunity to be evacuated by Australia, with eight of them taking up the offer - although two tested positive this morning.

They will be flown via Darwin to Auckland and will face a further two-week quarantine period - most likely at Whangaparaoa - when they get home.

Two of the remaining Kiwis on board have chosen to stay offshore for another 14 days before returning to New Zealand, while the third is an overseas resident, according to a spokesman from the office of Minister of Health David Clark.