- You can get tested for coronavirus if you have 1 or more of the following symptoms:
- cold (runny or blocked nose), cough
- sudden loss of taste or smell
- temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius
- breathing faster or difficulty breathing
- Get tested immediately if you have symptoms.
- Make an appointment with the municipal health service (GGD) at coronatest.nl. Or call: 0800-1202.
- The results will be known within 48 yours. The GGD will call you.
Can I get tested for coronavirus?
You can get tested if you have 1 or more of the following symptoms:
- cold symptoms (runny or blocked nose)
- sore throat
- sudden loss of taste or smell
- temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius (elevated temperature or fever)
- breathing faster or difficulty breathing
The test checks whether you currently have coronavirus.
Get tested for coronavirus as soon as possible if you develop symptoms. The test is most likely to be correct then. If you wait longer, there is a chance that the test will show that you don’t have coronavirus, even though you do have it.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no point in getting tested if you don’t have any symptoms. The test could show that you do not have coronavirus, even though you do have it. In this case, there are not enough virus particles in your mucus yet.
Do you have to stay home for 10 days? For example, because you live with someone who has coronavirus? Or because you have been in a country where a lot of people have coronavirus? Then there is no point in getting tested if you don’t have any symptoms. You have to stay home for 10 days anyway. Even if the test were to show that you do not have coronavirus.
Hay fever and testing for coronavirus
Do you recognise your symptoms as hay fever? Then you don’t have to get tested. Are you unsure whether it is hay fever? Then do get tested. Or take your hay fever medication first. If your symptoms clear up, it probably is hay fever and you do not have to get tested.
Where can I get tested for coronavirus?
Usually, you will be tested by the municipal health service (GGD)
You can make an appointment for a test with the GGD yourself. This applies to everyone, in any job. This also applies to children. The test is free.
You can make an appointment on this website: coronatest.nl.
Or by calling this phone number: 0800-1202.
You will be asked questions on the website or on the phone. After that, you can make an appointment. The website or the person on the phone will tell you what to expect from the test.
You do not need a referral from a doctor for a test at the GGD.
Sometimes a test by the GP
Sometimes your GP will test you. This only happens if your GP is already treating you. For example, in the following cases:
- You need a lot of care at home from others. For example, from a home carer (thuiszorg) or your GP.
They can then protect themselves if you have coronavirus.
- You are going to an institution. For example, a hospice, a residential group (zorggroep) or a care hotel (zorghotel). The people there can then protect themselves if you have coronavirus.
- You are ill and it is important to find out quickly whether you (also) have coronavirus. This is the case especially if you are in poor health. Or if you have severe symptoms.
Test in hospital: if you have to be admitted
If you have to be admitted to hospital, you will be tested in hospital.
What happens during the coronavirus test?
The person who performs the test wears a mask, an apron and glasses. He/she uses a cotton swab to take some mucus from your throat and nose. This is put into a tube.
The tube is then sent to the laboratory where it is tested to check if it contains coronavirus particles. If it does, you are currently infected with coronavirus.
The results are usually known within 48 yours.
You do not have to pay for a test by the GGD or a GP yourself.
What happens next after I get tested?
Usually, you will get the results within 48 hours. The GGD will call you. (Sometimes the GP will call if he/she tested you).
Stay at home until you get the results. Do not go shopping and do not let any visitors into your house. This prevents you from infecting others.
You currently have coronavirus. The GGD will discuss the advice (in Dutch) with you. The GGD will also give advice to the people who live with you (in Dutch). The GGD will try to find all other people who have been near you. We call this source and contact tracing.
The test shows that you do not have coronavirus
You do not have coronavirus. You no longer have to stay home. So you can go back to work or school. Children may go back to school or daycare. PLEASE NOTE: have you developed symptoms again? Have you developed other symptoms as well? Or have your symptoms gotten worse? Then stay home, and get tested for coronavirus again.
Can I test myself with a rapid test?
Tests to test yourself for coronavirus at home are being sold online.
It is better not to buy or use these tests.
We do not know for sure whether the results are correct. This is currently being studied.
Is it useful to get tested to check if I’ve had coronavirus?
Sometimes it can be useful to test whether you have had coronavirus. For example, if you have had symptoms for a long time that might be caused by coronavirus And previous tests did not show that you have coronavirus. Your GP can then have you tested.
For this test, a blood sample will be taken from you. This can be done from 2 weeks after your symptoms appear. A blood sample taken 3 to 4 weeks after the symptoms appear is even better.
The blood is tested to find out if it contains coronavirus antibodies. If you have antibodies, there is a good chance that you have had coronavirus.
But this isn’t completely certain. There’s a small chance that you did not produce any antibodies even though you were infected. Antibodies can also disappear from your blood after a while.
Discuss the results with your GP.
When should I call my GP if I have coronavirus?
Call your GP or the out-of-hours service (huisartsenpost) immediately if 1 or more of the following apply to you:
- You feel more and more ill over a few days.
- Your breathing becomes faster and faster or more difficult (for example while walking).
- You get more and more confused.
- You have a fever for more than 3 days (38 degrees Celsius or higher).
- You are over 70 years old, you have a chronic illness or a weakened immune system AND you have a fever (38 degrees Celsius or higher).
Do NOT go to your GP. The GP or assistant will ask you questions on the phone.
If necessary, the GP will examine you The GP will make sure this can be done safely (in Dutch), at the practice or at your home. The GP will wear glasses, a mask, gloves and a protective coat or apron.
If you are in poor health, you have a greater risk of dying from coronavirus. Discuss with your GP whether you can and want to be treated in hospital or at home (in Dutch).
More information about coronavirus
- If you have questions: call 0800-1351. This is the telephone number of the national public health information service.
(when calling from abroad: +312 0205 1351).
- Having the whole family at home all the time can lead to tension. See nji.nl for tips on how to keep a good atmosphere at home together (in Dutch). Or see this poster (in Dutch) for tips from the Government.
- Coronavirus causes worry and uncertainty, about yourself and others. For help and advice, see the ‘Mental Health Information and Referral Centre for COVID-19’ (Informatie- en Verwijscentrum mentale gezondheid COVID-19) (in Dutch).
- If you have to stay home and do not have much contact with others, you can call the Red Cross helpline: 070-4455 888.
- More information can be found on the website of the Government of the Netherlands. For example, about measures (in Dutch), travel, public transport, work, education and childcare.
- Answers to questions about coronavirus can be found on the website of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Also for videos about the new coronavirus (in Dutch).
- For travel advice, see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- For questions about coronavirus in traffic, aviation or public transport, see the website of the Ministry (in Dutch).
- Read more about coronavirus and quitting smoking at ikstopnu.nl (in Dutch).
- If you have lung problems after having coronavirus, you can find information and peer support at coronalongplein.nl (in Dutch).
The following information was used to write this text:
- the coronavirus guidelines of the RIVM
- the information on coronavirus from the Dutch College of General Practitioners (in Dutch)
- the guidelines on COVID-19 coagulopathy (in Dutch)