The novel coronavirus causes coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to symptoms of a common cold at first. However, the disease can cause severe pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

Symptoms novel coronavirus

People with COVID-19 often have:

  • A fever
  • Respiratory complaints such as coughing
  • Common cold
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing. 

Stay at home if you have:

  • Nasal cold
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Light cough
  • Slight temperature  (up to 38 degrees Celsius)

Important: if you have a common cold with a fever, everyone in your household must stay at home.

When do you call your GP?

Call your GP if your symptoms grow worse:

  • Do you have a fever (above 38 degrees Celsius) and a cough and difficulty of breathing?
  • Are you over 70-years old, and have a underlying health condition or are more susceptible, AND have a fever

Important: Do not go to your GP, instead call the GP or the medical centre (huisartsenpost). If you are experiencing severe symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.


Measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus

  • Wash your hands  often with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use
  • Do not shake hands
  • Stay 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people
  • Work from home as much as possible.

Are you ill?

  • Stay at home if you have mild cold-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing, a mild cough or a fever below 38 degrees Celsius
  • If you have a fever above 38 degrees Celsius or shortness of breath, you and anyone you live with should stay at home. If you feel better and have not had any symptoms for 24 hours, you can go outside again.

Are you over 70 years old or do you have underlying health problems?

Take extra care. It is a good idea to stay at home as much as possible for now.

Avoid busy places and keep your distance

  • Make sure you can always keep 1.5 metres distance from others.
  • If this impossible, go somewhere else.

View all measures to combat the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands on The measures are available in several languages.