- COVID-19 rules for families with children
- Testing children for COVID-19
- General information about children and COVID-19
- Research results from GGD data about children and COVID-19
In general, the younger the children, the less significant the role they play in spreading the virus. This applies to the original virus variant and to the more contagious virus variants. However, the more contagious variants involve more transmission of the virus in all age groups, compared to the old variants. Read more about the spread of the virus.
Spread of the virus at school and outside of school
The virus will continue to circulate for the time being, so it is important to follow the hygiene rules as well as possible. This applies everywhere, including at school. In addition, schools have taken precautions, with the aim of preventing transmission. The service document for childcare and primary education and the service document for secondary education (in Dutch) describe what the schools are doing to reduce the risk of the virus spreading among children and staff. These measures are based on advice from RIVM.
Infections at school
The Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) does source and contact tracing if there has been an infection in the class or at school. As of 20 September 2021, a single infection in a childcare group or primary school class does not mean that the entire group or class has to be quarantined. If there are outbreaks involving multiple infections in the same class, the GGD may advise testing or quarantine. This is not a general guideline that applies in all situations, but will be specific to each situation.
Students and employees in secondary education, vocational education (MBO), higher professional education (HBO) and university are advised to use a preventative self-test 2x a week if they are not protected against COVID-19.
When to go to school or childcare, when to stay home
Information on when to keep your child home from childcare or primary school can be found at Government.nl.
Children and adolescents in vocational education (MBO) or higher education are subject to the basic rules for staying home that apply to everyone.
Children with underlying medical problems do not appear to have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 than healthy children. If you are unsure, please consult your child’s doctor or paediatrician and the school management.
If a family member belongs to a risk group, consult with the doctor and the school management.
For more information on guidelines for the education sector, see Government.nl.
Hygiene in childcare facilities and schools
Good hygiene and hand hygiene help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. There are separate hygiene guidelines for:
- childcare facilities, kindergartens and after-school childcare
- primary schools
- secondary schools; these schools can follow the general hygiene guidelines.
See also Hygiene and COVID-19.
Ventilation and airing in childcare facilities and schools
Ventilation is important for a comfortable and healthy indoor climate in childcare facilities and schools. Read more about properly ventilating classrooms and other indoor areas in the ‘Protocol on education at school during corona’ (in Dutch) and the ‘ventilation guidelines’ (in Dutch). It is also important to follow the basic rules for everyone. For example, wash your hands regularly and stay home if you have symptoms.
For more information:
- Indoor and outdoor environment for primary schools (in Dutch)
- Ventilation and air purification
- Government.nl: ventilation and buildings
- Government.nl: COVID-19 and ventilating school buildings (in Dutch)
More information for schools
The website of the Dutch Government offers more information on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the context of various types of childcare and education. The site also provides detailed information for schools, such as protocols to minimise the spread of the coronavirus:
- Primary education and special education
- Secondary education
- Secondary vocational education (MBO)
- Universities of applied sciences and research universities
- Rules for distancing
RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment .nl also has more information for pregnant workers.
Researching the role of children in the spread of the virus
RIVM is conducting various studies on the role of children in the spread of SARS-CoV-2:
- RIVM is conducting a detailed study on the reports and outbreaks of COVID-19 infections received from the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) in the Netherlands.
- RIVM is working closely with the monitoring stations operated by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) to investigate the registrations provided by GPs on patients with flu-like symptoms who are tested for COVID-19.
- RIVM is conducting research among COVID-19 patients and their family contacts in the Netherlands. The results of the first part of this study are now known. The second part of the family study started recently, focusing on households where the child was the first infected person in the family.
- RIVM has launched a study on SARS-CoV-2 infections in primary schools.
- RIVM has taken blood samples to test for antibodies against COVID-19 in the PIENTER Corona Study.
- RIVM is keeping track of relevant literature on children and COVID-19. This also includes studies that have been conducted in other countries.
Go to the page presenting the latest research results on children, schools and COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and my child’s vaccinations in the context of the National Immunisation Programme?
It is very important for your child to receive the usual vaccinations from the National Immunisation Programme. If, for example, you postpone the 14-month shots, there is a risk that your child will contract diseases such as measles and meningococcal meningitis. These are highly contagious diseases that still occur in the Netherlands. If you or your child has cold symptoms or a fever, or if someone in the family has a fever, please contact the well-baby clinic.
Would you like to know more about vaccinations and the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? Go to the frequently asked questions on the site of the National Immunisation Programme (in Dutch).