Various types of tests can be used to determine whether someone currently has COVID-19. The table below shows which type of test could be used in different situations. You cannot choose a specific type of test yourself. It may be possible that a type of test is not available for a target group or in a specific region, or not yet. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Government works with GGD GHOR and the Testing Service to arrange the testing capacity and implementation.

  People with recent symptoms  

1

Seriously ill people (vulnerable and non-vulnerable) who report to the healthcare system (e.g. GP, emergency care)

1] PCR (polymerase chain reaction) - test 

2] (TNO-)LAMP of rapid antigen test – negative result must be confirmed with PCR test

2

In institutions and for vulnerable people

1] PCR-test

2] (TNO-)LAMP- of rapid antigen test – negative result must be confirmed with PCR-test

3

Not in institutions and for vulnerable people

PCR-, (TNO-) LAMP- or rapid antigen test.

 A (TNO-)LAMP of rapid antigen test is possible in vulnerable persons with recent mild symptoms, such as mild cold symptoms.

 If you tested negative for COVID-19, but develop symptoms again or the symptoms grow worse, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.

4

Works with or is in contact with vulnerable people (care workers, informal carers, visitors to institutions where vulnerable persons reside)

PCR , (TNO-)LAMP- or (repeated) rapid antigen test.

Care workers who test negative for COVID-19 on a  (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen test should confirm the result with a PCR test.

 If you tested negative for COVID-19, but develop symptoms again, or if the symptoms grow worse, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary. 

5

Non-vulnerable people

PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen test.

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but develop symptoms again, or if the symptoms grow worse, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.   

  People without symptoms  
6 With known exposure (due to source and contact tracing & notification from Coronamelder app)

PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen test. 

During the quarantine period, a PCR- , (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen or breath test can be used immediately and from day 5 onwards.

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but later develop symptoms, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.

7 Screening in institutions where vulnerable persons reside (in the context of an outbreak investigation)

PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP-  or (repeated) rapid antigen test.

A negative (TNO-)LAMP- , rapid antigen test must be confirmed with a PCR  test.

8 Screening in the event of other clusters reside (in the context of an outbreak investigation in other institutions, schools, work situations, etc.)

PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP- or (repeated) rapid antigen.

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but your symptoms grow worse, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.

9 Returning or arriving from abroad

PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen test.

After the quarantine period, a PCR-, (TNO-)LAMP- or rapid antigen test or breath test can be used from day 5 on.

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but later develop symptoms, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.

10

Without known exposure

Which test is used depends on the purpose of the test and whether or not vulnerable people are involved.

Rapid antigen tests can be used in healthy target groups. The validity of a negative test result varies from a maximum of 24 hours to 48 hours, depending on the specific purpose of the test. 

If you tested negative for COVID-19, but later develop symptoms, then get tested again – or call your GP if necessary.
 

  

1 For example: Once it is allowed again, a young, healthy nurse could go to a festival with a rapid antigen test that might give a false negative, but should not use the same test result to go to work three days later, where he will be caring for older, vulnerable patients.