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

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

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

See the other symptoms reported by people with COVID-19.

Do you have one or more of these symptoms?

Get tested, stay at home until you have the results of the test. 

It depends on the results (positive or negative) whether you can go outside again. It also determines if the members of your household need to stay at home. 

Are there other people living in your household? Then your household members must also stay home if you have mild COVID-19 symptoms, and you also have a fever or shortness of breath. Read more about this on

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.

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
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home, unless it is absolutely necessary that you go to work.

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