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Quarantine and self-isolation

Quarantine means preventive isolation in order to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus. Isolation means that you stay at home if you are ill or have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Quarantine

You have to quarantine:

  • as soon as you feel sick, but have not yet taken a positive test
  • when you had a high-risk contact with a person who has COVID-19 (you were together for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 metres and without both of you wearing a face mask)
  • when you have been abroad for more than 48 hours and you receive a text message after completing the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

Quarantine due to coronavirus typically lasts 10 days.

Procedure

  • Stay at home for 10 days.
  • You will only be tested for coronavirus if you are a caregiver.
  • After 10 days, you may leave your home. Stay alert for another 4 days.
  • Are you feeling ill? Contact your general practitioner.

What should you do?

  • Always wear a face mask
  • You may only go to a pharmacy, doctor or supermarket.
  • Don’t let other people in your house
  • You may not visit others
  • You may sit in your garden or on your terrace
  • You measure your temperature twice a day
  • Open your windows
  • Brush every day what you touch a lot (e.g. door handles, taps, light switches, etc.).
  • Use other things than the people living in your house (e.g. different plates, towels, sheets, etc.)
  • Use a different toilet than the people who live in your house, if possible
  • Use a different bathroom than people living in your house, if possible

Can you work?

If you can work from home, you have to work from home. You don’t go to the office. If you cannot work from home, you will get a certificate from the doctor. Your GP will give you a “quarantine certificate”. This allows you to prove to your employer that you must remain in quarantine. Teleworking is allowed but you are not allowed to travel to your workplace.

If you are unable to telework, you can claim temporary unemployment benefits. Self-employed people who are unable to work due to quarantine may invoke a bridging right.

Please note: did you test positive but you are a caregiver and your presence at work is necessary? Then you may be able to go back to work regardless of the result of your test. This is only possible provided a risk analysis takes place and you do not come into contact with (coronavirus) patients.

Self-isolation

You have to be in self-isolation when you test positive for the coronavirus. The isolation takes at least 7 days.

Procedure

  • Stay at home for 7 days.
  • Only leave your house after 7 days
    • If you have not had a fever for at least 3 days
    • If you no longer have respiratory problems (shortness of breath, problems with breathing).
  • You tested positive but have no symptoms? You can leave your house 7 days after you were tested

What should you do?

  • Do not go outside
  • You may sit in your garden or on your terrace
  • Don’t let other people in your house
  • You may not visit
  • Open your windows
  • Brush every day what you touch a lot (e.g. door handles, taps, light switches, etc.).
  • Stay away from the people who live in your house.
  • Use other things than the people who live in your house (e.g. different plates, towels, sheets, etc.)
  • Use a different toilet than the people who live in your house, if possible
  • Use a different bathroom than people living in your house, if possible
  • Use a different bedroom than the people living in your house, if possible.

If you do not follow the rules for quarantine or isolation, you may be punished or fined.

More information about testing and quarantine can be found on the websites of the competent authorities: