Eight New Zealand passengers on board the Grand Princess cruise ship may have been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, the Ministry of Health has been told.

The ministry was today notified by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that the eight had been on the cruise ship with a confirmed Covid-19 case, but had returned to New Zealand prior to receiving this notice.

"Upon receipt of this information, public health officials in New Zealand have spoken to seven of the eight affected this afternoon and have completed health interviews," the ministry said in a statement.

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"Four people are well and are outside the isolation period and they pose no risk of Covid-19. Three people have been assessed as needing to be tested.

Eight New Zealand passengers on board the Grand Princess cruise ship may have been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, the Ministry of Health has been told. Photo /AP
Eight New Zealand passengers on board the Grand Princess cruise ship may have been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, the Ministry of Health has been told. Photo /AP

"One of those three was already in medical care at North Shore Hospital and appropriate testing and public health actions are under way."

One person is still yet to be spoken to.

The ministry was tracing close contacts of this person as a precaution including some health care staff.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said New Zealanders should be vigilant about monitoring their health, especially those who have recently returned from overseas travel where they may have come into contact with coronavirus.

"When people are unwell, they should stay away from work and school, and not attend events," Bloomfield said.

"If they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 they should seek medical advice by either calling Healthline on 0800 358 5453, or ensuring they ring their medical centre ahead of visiting in person."