A Canberra couple is among those being held at a former miners' camp in Darwin following two weeks of quarantine on-board the Diamond Princess.
Deborah Winkler and Kareem Abdelmaksound are two of the 164 people evacuated from the cruise ship on Thursday spending two weeks at a camp at Howard Springs, 30 kilometres south-east of Darwin's CBD.
The wife and husband left their home in Hughes on January 19 to board the ship in Tokyo. Their plan was to tour Asia before returning to the ACT on February 5.
Quarantine officials came aboard the ship in Yokohama Harbour two days before the couple's due departure, after reports several passengers had fallen ill.
Ms Winkler said officials spent all night and into the following evening screening the more than 3700 passengers and 1100 crew members on-board.
Passengers were placed into isolation but at least 634 people tested positive to COVID-19 in the two weeks that followed.
Ms Winkler and Mr Abdelmaksound were flown from Tokyo to the Royal Australian Air Force base in Darwin, then bussed to Howard Springs on Thursday.
They are now facing another two weeks of quarantine following their fourteen day exile aboard the ship.
The senior executive for the federal government's Services Australia reported there was "lots of unhappy people here" when contacted via telephone on Saturday.
"Generally we have been treated well but the level of communication has been seriously lacking at times," Ms Winkler said. "Think the PM oversold the standard of the accommodation at Howard Springs."
Ms Winkler and Mr Abdelmaksound were assigned separate single rooms, with access to the camp's entertainment facilities restricted to those evacuated from Wuhan before them.
"On the Diamond Princess at least there were daily announcements through PA but [there's] no common way to keep us up to date here," Ms Winkler said.
"I think those who said this accommodation would be better than the cruise ship should come and live here for two weeks."
The quarantined Australians had not formally been told of the four additional people testing positive to the virus on Saturday, relying on medical professionals and the media to piece together that cases had risen to six.
Ms Winkler said their temperatures was taken twice a day and they assumed their tests had come back negative.
"We have never been advised of our swab results which were due the day of the evacuation. We can only speculate we were negative as we got onto the flight," she said.
Ms Winkler said the flight had felt risky with a plane full of people served a meal and eating together without masks. While the couple sat alone with three seats between them, other passengers had been seated next to strangers.
Ms Winkler said they had heard people having "meltdowns" on the ship.
"Occasionally we would open our door and have a look out. One woman was on her knees asking the visiting medicos what she'd done to be locked up. It was very distressing see other people in distress or confused about what was going on."
Ms Winkler said they had been confined to their rooms for five days without outside access.
Eventually, officials relaxed the regulation to allow 2.5 hours on deck over a period of six days.
"The first few days we did not know what was going on and we just had to wait for our meals to be delivered," Ms Winkler said.
"It was very distressing to see other people in distress or confused about what was going on."
Ms Winkler said she was expecting the situation at Howard Springs to have a big mental toll on people over the next two weeks.
"It is clear this part of the facility has not been used for sometime. They have erected a fence around our area so that we cannot run away. "We are missing our lovely spacious home. We miss our friends and our garden," Ms Winkler said. "We were not enjoying wearing masks for the smoke haze before we left but people tell us the air is clear now."