Members of the public are being forced to register with the government before entering the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama where the ship is docked.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is working with the Japanese government and Princess Cruises, owner of the boat, to monitor the welfare of Australians on board.
A resupply mission took place on Thursday and prescription medicine is being offered free of charge as passengers prepare to wait out the 14 day quarantine.
The Diamond Princess departed Tokyo on January 20, stopping in Kagoshima, Hong Kong, Da Nang and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam before returning to Yokohama via Okinawa on February 4.
An 80-year-old man from Wuhan who has coronavirus is understood to be the source of the outbreak on the ship.
A second cruise ship, World Dream, owned by Dream Cruises, is also in quarantine in Hong Kong with over 1800 passengers on board. Crew members are being tested for the virus after they showed symptoms.
Carnival Cruises has decided to ban anyone who has been to mainland China over the past two weeks, while Royal Caribbean has followed suit along with cancelling planned cruises to China and Hong Kong.
Australian health experts say the chances of a similar situation happening on cruise ships here remain remote.
Retired health professor John Mackenzie has been researching infectious diseases since 1965 and said people with cruise bookings should not be alarmed.
“There’s no need to panic at all,” Professor Mackenzie said.
“Being on a ship certainly increases the opportunity for disease to spread. [But] when it comes to this virus it depends who’s on board and where [the ship] is going.
“If you’re thinking of going on a cruise there’s very little risk, providing it’s not going anywhere near China.
“If I had a cruise lined up I’d probably go ahead and do it.”
Australian National University infectious diseases specialist Sanjaya Senanayake agrees passengers cruising locally should be fine.
“If it was a regular Pacific cruise leaving from Australia, I would have thought the risk would be low,” Dr Senanayake said.
“I certainly wouldn’t postpone local travel, and that’s not what the government or the World Health Organisation are advising either.”
The Cruise Line Industry Association’s most recent annual report showed there were 1.35 million Australians who went on a cruise in 2018. About 5 per cent, or 72,000 people, cruised in Asia.
Curtin University marketing lecturer Mingming Cheng said he expects the coronavirus outbreak will cause this number to drop “significantly” until the disease is contained.
“For the whole cruise industry in Australia, I think this [virus] is not significant. The most popular areas for Australians are in the Pacific and Australia and New Zealand. I don’t think it will be a huge impact – only for the Asian market.”
Meanwhile, 14,000 people from Asia took a cruise in the Australasian region in 2018, double the previous year.
Dr Cheng said the Chinese ban on tour groups, combined with the Australian government’s ban on visitors from China, would result in a sharp drop in Chinese tourism until both bans are lifted.
Wary of further outbreaks, global cruise companies have implemented strict sanctions on travelling passengers.
While you might be unlikely to contract coronavirus on board a cruise ship, outbreaks of norovirus (or gastro) are more common. The most important tip for staying healthy is to keep your hands clean. Avoid putting anything in your mouth without washing your hands first, and use the provided hand sanitiser frequently.
“Washing your hands is the most effective thing you could do,” Professor Mackenzie said.
Josh Dye is a news reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.