Whether you need to be quarantined depends on whether or not you are already protected against COVID-19.
When am I protected against COVID-19?
You are protected against COVID-19 if one or more of the following applies:
- It is more than 14 days since you received a second COVID-19 vaccination with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine;
- It is more than 14 days since you received one COVID-19 vaccination with the Janssen vaccine;
- it is more than 14 days since you received one vaccination with any of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the Netherlands, and you had previously had COVID-19;
- You had COVID-19 within the past 6 months.
If you are protected against COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine. However, it is important to monitor your health closely. If you develop symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, then you should always get tested. Never use a self-test if you have symptoms.
I am not protected against COVID-19. Do I need to quarantine now?
If you are not yet protected against COVID-19, and you have had contact with someone with COVID-19, you must go into quarantine. That means you stay home.
Quarantine and rules
While in quarantine, the following rules apply:
- Stay home and do not receive any visitors.
- Stay 1.5 metres from other household members.
- Wash your hands and sneeze and cough into your elbow.
- Does a household member have COVID-19? Then avoid contact with the household member who is infected and keep cleaning your belongings and your house.
- Do you have COVID-19 yourself? In that case, go into isolation. Stay alone in a room of your own as much as possible. This ensures that your household members can avoid having any contact with you.
Source and contact tracing
If you have COVID-19, the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) does source and contact tracing to identify your contacts while you were contagious. Based on the OMT advisory report of 18 June 2021, source and contact tracing has been updated as of 8 July 2021.
Types of contacts
If you are not yet protected against COVID-19, and you have contact with someone for an extended period of time, or have been in very close proximity to someone, you are more likely to become infected. During source and contact tracing, the GGD reviews what types of contact you had and what you should do in each case. People who have had contact with others are classified into 3 groups:
- Household members: The people who live in the same household as you, who you often spend time with for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters.
- Close contacts:
- Someone, other than your household members, who you spent time with for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters. Or someone who you spent time with for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters, cumulatively within a 24-hour period.
- Someone who you spent time with for less than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters, with a major risk of infection. For example, if someone coughed in your face, or if you had physical contact such as hugging or kissing.
- Other contacts:
- Someone who you spent time with for more than 15 minutes, while staying more than 1.5 meters apart in an indoor space. For example, in a room at the office, in a classroom or during a meeting.
- Someone who you spent time with for less than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters, with a minor risk of infection. For example, a brief encounter at a distance of less than 1.5 meters.
Testing during quarantine – household member or close contact?
If you go into quarantine, that means you stay home. When you need to get tested depends on whether you are a household member or close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
Do you live in the same household as someone who has COVID-19? Then get tested immediately. By testing people immediately, we can detect new infections earlier. Even if you do not have any symptoms (yet), you should still get tested. You may only go outside for the test. If the test result is positive, then you have COVID-19. In that case, go into isolation.
Are you a close contact of someone who has COVID-19? Then get tested on the fifth day of quarantine. If the test result is negative for COVID-19, you may be released from quarantine. If the result is positive, then you have COVID-19 and must go into isolation.
Why test people during quarantine?
Testing people during their quarantine period makes it possible to detect coronavirus infections earlier. That means that you will know sooner if you have the virus, and can also notify people that you had contact with more quickly. In addition, you will go into isolation earlier, preventing you from infecting more people. The Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) can start source and contact tracing more quickly. In addition, people can be released from quarantine earlier. This applies if the test was taken five or more days after the last contact with the contagious person and the result is negative.
Leaving quarantine early after testing negative: no contact with vulnerable people
As a precaution, avoid contact with vulnerable people until the 10th day after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19 – even if you tested negative for COVID-19. Vulnerable people have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they are infected with the virus. Do you work in healthcare or in contact with vulnerable people? Consult your employer to discuss your options.
Quarantine when arriving from abroad if you are not yet protected
If you are not yet protected against COVID-19, and are travelling to the Netherlands from a country with a high risk of COVID-19 (orange or red travel advisory), you will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test when you return. You may also have to go into quarantine. See Government.nl for the latest information on travel and quarantine.
Even after quarantine, the following rules apply: stay 1.5 meters from others, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and get tested if you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19.
Advice to stay home if you have symptoms but have not been tested
If you develop symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, then stay home and get tested.
What is isolation?
If your test result is positive, then you have COVID-19. In that case, go into isolation. Isolation is similar to quarantine but different in two ways:
- When you are in quarantine, you may still have contact with household members who are not infected – but 1.5 metres apart. When you are in isolation, you must avoid any contact as much as possible. This means you must stay home, and preferably stay also in your own room. You should leave this room as little as possible, and other household members should come into this room as little as possible. You must use separate dishes, cutlery, toothbrush and towels. If possible, use a separate toilet and shower.
- Is it 7 days (or more) since you developed symptoms? And have you been symptom-free for 24 hours? Then you are no longer contagious and can end your isolation. If your symptoms persist, you will stay in isolation for up to 14 days. People with impaired immunity due to illness or medication remain in isolation for 14 days, even if their symptoms end sooner.
- Did you test positive without having any symptoms? Then you must go into isolation. You could still develop symptoms – and people are very contagious in the days before their symptoms start showing. The GGD will tell you how long your isolation will last if you do not develop any symptoms; this varies from 3 to 5 days.
Are you seriously ill and in need of medical assistance? Do not go to your GP or visit the hospital; instead, call your GP immediately.
Frequently asked questions about quarantine and COVID-19
Is there any use in testing people at the beginning of their quarantine?
The earlier we detect infections with the virus, the better.
People who are household members of someone who has COVID-19, and therefore need to be quarantined. are very likely to become infected, even more so than close contacts. Therefore, they should get tested as soon as possible.
The virus can already be detected in some people at that point. This will enable them to go into isolation sooner, so they can avoid infecting others. If the test result is negative, however, it is important to get tested again on day five. This is because the previous test may have been too early for the test to detect the virus. In any case, the test on day five is reliable. This is because most people who become ill develop symptoms within seven days. The test can detect the virus as early as two days before that. If the test result from the test on day five is negative for COVID-19, you may be released from quarantine. If the result is positive, then you have COVID-19 and must go into isolation.
Is it possible for people to develop symptoms even after testing negative for COVID-19 on day 5?
A few of the close contacts identified from source and contact tracing only develop symptoms 7 days after their last contact with a COVID-19 patient. Quarantine is therefore not necessary if you test negative for COVID-19. However, it is still important to keep track of whether you develop symptoms.