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 COVID-19

People with COVID-19 often have symptoms such as:

  • Cold symptoms (nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat)
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Elevated temperature or a fever (above 38 degrees Celsius)
  • Sudden loss of taste and smell (without nasal congestion)

Do you have one or more of these symptoms?

Stay at home, get tested, recuperate. 

It depends on the test results (positive or negative) whether you can go outside again and whether your household members must stay home as well. 

If you have a fever and/or difficulty breathing, everyone in your household must stay at home.

When to call a GP

Call your GP if your symptoms grow worse:

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

Important: do not go to your GP, instead call the GP or the out of hours medical centre (huisartsenpost in Dutch). 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?

If you have one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms, you can get tested

  • Mild symptoms:  cold-like symptoms,  nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat,  coughing, elevated temperature or sudden loss of smell and or taste. Stay at home, get tested, recuperate.  Go to for information on making a test appointment. 
  • Severe symptoms: difficulty breathing and or a fever (above 38 degrees celsius) or iff your illness worsens. Call your GP or out of hours medical centre immediately. 

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 is not possible, go somewhere else
  • Work from home as much as possible
  • Avoid rush hours of public transport

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