Fever with tightness of the chest/respiratory symptoms household members

Information letter in addition to the LCI guideline COVID-19 | version 22 April 2020 | Information for household members of a patient suspected of infection with the new coronavirus

To Overview rules of living (Dutch) and information letters (Dutch and English)

I am a household member of someone who has a fever with respiratory symptoms and/or tightness of the chest. What happens next?


Dear Sir, Madam,

Because your family or household member has a fever and therefore they may have COVID-19, this information is important to you. There are a number of rules of living for the entire household. We realise that this can be a big task and that it can affect your daily life.

Are you getting ill or do you need medical assistance? Do not go to the general practitioner or hospital, but call your GP.

This letter contains a number of rules you should abide by. It is important for the entire household to follow these rules. This helps to prevent the people around you from getting infected. This is particularly important for people over 70 or for people who are vulnerable due to illness. 

All the members of the household need to stay home. For persons in a crucial profession or in critical processes, different (living) rules may apply. Discuss this with your employer.  For healthcare workers there is a specific policy; please inform further with your employer.

You can go out again when the entire household has not had any symptoms for 24 hours. That means: No fever, no nasal colds and no cough.

Follow the general advice currently in force in the Netherlands about school and work - see Rijksoverheid.nl.

Do you have any questions? Contact the GGD (Municipal Health Service) in your region or go to Coronavirus COVID-19 | Rijksoverheid.nl.

Rules of living

1. Stay home, do not allow any visitors. All household members stay at home

  • You may not go outside, to school or to work.
  • You can go outside quickly to do your shopping, for example. Be careful to stay away from others and avoid physical contact.
  • You can sit in your garden or on your balcony.
  • You cannot receive visitors, except for the GP and the GGD.
  • Only the people who live with you are allowed to be in your home.

2. How do I deal with the household member who has a fever?

  • Enter the room where the patient is staying as little as possible.
  • You have as little contact as possible with the patient and you stay 1.5 metres away from each other. So no hugging, kissing or having sex.
  • Do not use the cutlery, plates, cups and glasses of the patient.
  • Do not use the patient's toothbrush.
  • If possible, use a different toilet and bathroom than the one the patient uses. If there is only one toilet and one bathroom in the house, you can share these with the patient. It is important that you clean the toilet and the bathroom every day and ventilate every day, if possible, by opening the window for 30 minutes.

3. Ensure good personal hygiene

  • Use a paper handkerchief. If you do not have a paper handkerchief at hand, you must cough in the fold of your elbow.
  • Use a handkerchief only once and dispose of the handkerchief in a plastic bag after use. Wash your hands.
  • Regularly wash your hands with water and soap. Always do this after coughing and sneezing, after you have been to the toilet, after cleaning and clearing up and before eating.

4. Ensure good hygiene of the room of the household member who has a fever

  • Stay in a room separate from the patient as much as possible.
  • Open a window in the rooms where the patient is staying several times a day. This will bring fresh air in.
  • Clean the bathroom and toilet frequently.
  • Remember to also clean the tap, light switches and door handle.
  • Then, wash your hands with water and soap.

5. Ensure good hygiene in the house

  • If possible, clean frequently used surfaces such as bedside tables, door handles and light switches every day.
  • First, clean using a regular cleaning agent.
  • Next, clean the hand contact areas such as the toilet flush panel, door handles and light switches with household bleach.
  • For this, take a new bucket with 5 litres of water. Add 125 millilitres of bleach, which is one coffee cup. You can buy bleach in the supermarket.
  • Afterwards, put the cleaning cloth directly in the laundry basket.
  • Then, wash your hands with water and soap.

6. Ensure good hygiene when disposing of waste

  • Avoid spreading body fluids, such as faeces, saliva, mucus, sweat and urine.
  • If possible, collect the patient's laundry in a separate laundry basket and wash it at least at 40 degrees Celsius with a full wash cycle and normal detergent.
  • If possible, wash the patient's dishes separately, using standard washing-up liquid and hot water, or in the dishwasher on an extensive cleaning cycle.
  • If possible, have the patient throw their own waste into a separate waste bag in their room. The bag can be placed in the grey waste bin.


Overview of all information letters in English

  1. Confirmed patient home situation
  2. Confirmed patient household members
  3. Fever with respiratory symptoms and/or tightness of the chest
  4. Fever with respiratory symptoms and/or tightness of the chest household members
  5. Person with a common cold and household members

More information from the RIVM about COVID-19 in English