Self-quarantining (staying at home) due to coronavirus

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, you may need to stay at home and not receive visitors. This is called self-quarantining. You need to stay at home (or in your accommodation) if you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a runny nose or fever, or if you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus.

Situations in which you need to stay at home

After someone is infected with coronavirus it can take between 2 and 10 days for symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, to appear. But a person is already infectious from two days before any symptoms appear. This means that you can spread coronavirus even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. To prevent this, in some situations you will need to stay home and not receive visitors. This is called self-quarantining. If you have coronavirus you must self-isolate. This means staying at home, not receiving visitors and having as little contact as possible with the people you live with. How long you need to stay at home for, and what the rules are, depends on the situation.

You must stay at home in the following situations:

  • you have symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19);
  • you have coronavirus;
  • someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19 that include a fever and/or shortness of breath. If a child under the age of 6 has these symptoms, the people the child lives with do not need to self-quarantine;
  • someone you live with has coronavirus;
  • you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus (within 1.5 metres for at least 15 minutes);
  • you recently travelled to the Netherlands from certain countries or regions;
  • you have received a notification from the CoronaMelder app.

Watch the video about when to stay at home on YouTube (in Dutch).

What to do in the following situations:

Self-quarantine rules

The following rules apply to everyone during self-quarantine:

  • Only family members or other people that you live with may be at home with you. You must stay 1.5 metres away from them as much as possible. This means no hugging, kissing or sex.
  • Nobody may visit you, except for medical purposes (for example, a doctor or a GGD official).
  • If you need medical assistance, do not go to the doctor or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead.
  • Ask other people to do grocery shopping for you or order your groceries online. If this is absolutely impossible, you can go out to do grocery shopping, but only if you have no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You can sit outside if you have a garden or balcony.
  • Do not go to your place of work, but work from home. If you are a healthcare professional you may, only in exceptional cases and if you don’t have coronavirus or have any symptoms of COVID-19, go to work. Discuss this with the municipal health service (GGD) or your company doctor.
  • Do not use public transport or taxis.

Exceptions to the self-quarantine rules for children

Your child may also have to self-quarantine. This depends on your child’s age and whether your child is at primary or secondary school.

Children under 4 and primary school children:

  • can go to school or childcare if they have cold symptoms, an occasional cough, asthma symptoms or hay fever symptoms. But they should not go anywhere else

  • do not always need to get tested
  • must stay at home if they have a fever, shortness of breath or a continuous cough.

If your child is very sick, call your family doctor.

Please note: different rules apply if:

  • someone the child lives with has symptoms of COVID-19 that include a fever and/or shortness of breath. In that case everyone must stay at home. If a child under the age of 6 has these symptoms, the people the child lives with do not need to self-quarantine; or
  • a close contact has coronavirus and the child also has mild symptoms. In that case the child must stay at home.

Secondary school children (and other teenagers under 18):

The rules for adults apply to secondary school pupils and other teenagers under 18. If they have symptoms they must stay at home and get tested. See the basic rules for everyone.

Help and support during quarantine

If there is no-one nearby who can help you with shopping or collecting your children from school, for example, you can contact your municipality for support. You can also call the Red Cross national helpline (+31 (0)70 4455 888) to find out if help is available in your neighbourhood.

If you need someone to talk to during quarantine, contact the national Listening Line (Landelijke Luisterlijn) on 0900 0767.

Brochure on self-quarantining

The brochure Help and support when self-quarantining contains information about where you can get help if you’re self-quarantining because of coronavirus. 

See also