Coronavirus: Golden Princess cruise ship on lockdown in Melbourne as passengers are tested

More than 2,000 are in lockdown on a cruise ship in Melbourne as they undergo coronavirus screenings at the dock after a ‘number of people fell ill’

  • The Golden Princess cruise ship docked at Station Pier in Melbourne Thursday 
  • More than 2,000 people aboard are locked down as they undergo testing 
  • Disembarkation has been delayed until the ship receives clearance from officials
  • Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there ‘are a number who are unwell’ 
  • Medical advice suggests it is not believed to be COVID-19 related
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

More than 2,000 passengers and crew are temporarily locked down on a ship at a Melbourne dock while they undergo coronavirus screenings.

The Golden Princess has docked at Station Pier at Port Melbourne, but disembarkation has been delayed until the ship receives clearance from Victorian health authorities.

‘The advice that I have is that there are a number of passengers who are unwell,’ Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told reporters.

‘It’s not believed that it is COVID-19 related, that is the medical advice that I have received.’

More than 2,000 passengers and crew on the Golden Princess are temporarily locked down in Port Melbourne while they undergo coronavirus screenings

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there are a number of people who are 'unwell' but it is not believed to be coronavirus related, according to medical advice

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there are a number of people who are ‘unwell’ but it is not believed to be coronavirus related, according to medical advice

Ms Mikakos added if a test is positive, the normal contact-tracing procedures will be done.

‘They will be treated in the exact same way as if they’ve arrived from an international aeroplane,’ Ms Mikakos said.

‘They will be required to engage in 14 days of quarantine and if is anyone is in fact positive, they will be assessed whether they require medical treatment – they will be moved to a hospital if that’s required.’


New South Wales: 307

Victoria: 149

Queensland: 94

South Australia: 37

Western Australia: 35

Tasmania: 10

Northern Territory: 1 

Australian Capital Territory: 3



A sign announcing the delay is on the pier.

The 2,210 passengers left Melbourne on March 10 on a scheduled 13-night cruise to New Zealand.

But their trip was cut short when Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on cruise ships from foreign ports arriving in Australia.

Golden Princess said their ship arrived in Melbourne on Thursday in accordance with the Australian government’s arrangements for cruise ships to return and disembark guests at the ports where the cruises began.

‘Victoria Health wants guests to remain on the ship until the screening has been completed, and the results are known,’ a statement from Golden Princess says.

‘We have informed guests in an announcement on board that we realise this development is disappointing and unexpected but we will support health authorities because, like us, they are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to protecting public health.’

The screenings could take several hours and only the guests being screened are expected to stay in their cabins.

Friends and relatives of passengers are waiting on the pier.

Damien Bourke arrived to see the boat dock about 5am and has waited on two friends since.

‘My friend rang me and said somebody got tested and they are going to wait until possibly 3pm before they can get off the boat,’ Mr Bourke told AAP.

Crew from Southern Cross Portering, meanwhile, await instructions outside the ship.

One staffer, who did not want to be named, said there is ‘no clue of what they have to do’.

Some passengers have been seen walking around the ship, on their phones.

Several other Princess cruise liners have been affected by the coronavirus, including Diamond Princess, which was locked down in Japan, as well as the Grand Princess in the US.