A cruise ship with 7,000 people on board was blocked from leaving Italy after a passenger came down with symptoms similar to that of CoronaVirus.

The 54-year-old woman from Macau boarded the boat in Italy on January 25 after arriving in the country on the same day.

She has since come down with a fever and was placed in isolation on the boat.

Preliminary tests on the woman and her partner suggested they were not carrying the virus, the ministry of health said, but it could take up to 48 hours to receive full results.

There was an initial plan to disembark 1,000 passengers but this was placed on hold after the mayor of the local town complained.

The boat is now just offshore and passengers are free to roam on the boat.