If you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or if you have been in a COVID-19 risk area, you may also become ill. If you are infected with COVID-19, you may already be contagious before you develop symptoms. To avoid spreading the disease without knowing it, if you may have been exposed, we strongly recommend that you stay home and go into quarantine.

When should you go into quarantine?

  • If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, or if you have had close contact with an infected person.
  • If you have been to a country/area that has been designated as a COVID-19 risk area for which the Dutch government has issued an ‘orange’ travel advisory.

If you develop symptoms while in quarantine

If you develop symptoms during the quarantine period, you should request a test immediately. Obviously, after getting tested, you should stay home until you get the results of the test. Read more about what to do if you have symptoms that could indicate the novel coronavirus.

Quarantine: Stay home for 10 days

Most people who become ill from the novel coronavirus develop symptoms within 10 days after the last contact. This is why they must stay home for 10 days to make sure they will not infect others. During this period, you are not permitted to travel or go on holiday. 

The maximum incubation time of the novel coronavirus is 14 days. In rare cases, people might develop symptoms after the 10-day quarantine period. This is why is important to monitor your health extremely closely until 14 days have passed since your contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Quarantine after a positive test without symptoms:

You can develop symptoms 3 days after the test, so watch your health closely.

  • You must stay home in isolation for 72 hours (3 days) after getting tested, because you could be contagious to others. The other people in your household also need to stay at home, because they may have been infected by you. This prevents them from infecting others.
  • You may go out of isolation immediately if you have not developed any symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 within 72 hours (3 days) after taking the test. The Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) will discuss with you when this is.
  • If you do develop symptoms within those 72 hours (3 days) after taking the test, you will have to stay in home isolation for longer. Your household members will also have to remain in home quarantine until 10 days after their last contact with you that involved a risk of infection. The GGD will tell you more about this.

If you become seriously ill or if you require medical assistance: do not go to your GP or visit the hospital, instead, call your GP or the out-of-hours medical centre.

After the quarantine

Even after the 10-day quarantine period, it is important to keep following the basic rules: stay 1.5 metres apart from others, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and get tested whenever you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19.

Quarantine or isolation?

  • If you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, or if you have been tested and the result of your test was positive for COVID-19, then you will go into isolation. This means staying home so that you do not spread the virus to others. Read more about what to do if you need to go into isolation because you have COVID-19.
  • Quarantine is a precautionary measure: you are not ill, but you have been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 (or might be infected), so you stay home for 10 days. 

Frequently asked questions quarantine and COVID-19

What am I allowed to do and what is prohibited during quarantine?

There is information available for household members and other close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Dutch national government also provides information about quarantine.

Why has the quarantine period been reduced from 14 to 10 days?

The OMT has recommended reducing the period of quarantine to 10 days calculated from the last high-risk contact with a COVID-19 patient. The latest data from source and contact tracing in the Netherlands has shown that a shorter quarantine period is safe. Of all contacts of a person who was infected with COVID-19 and later became ill, 99% developed COVID-19 symptoms within 10 days after the last high-risk contact. 

Does the shorter quarantine period also apply to people who are already in quarantine?

Yes. Starting 19 August, people who have already been in quarantine may leave quarantine after the 10th day.

How many people do still become ill after the quarantine period?

In rare cases, people still do develop symptoms after the 10-day quarantine period. Of the people who were in quarantine, and did in fact turn out to be infected with COVID-19, 1% developed symptoms more than 10 days later.  Because this risk is very small, it has been determined that quarantining longer than 10 days is not necessary, but it does remain important to stay extra alert for symptoms up until 14 days after the contact with the infected person.