Obligation to report infectious diseases

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

The Public Health Act determines how certain professional groups must act after discovering or suspecting certain infectious diseases. Doctors, laboratories, or institutions in the Netherlands must notify the Municipal Health Service (GGD) in their region if certain infectious diseases are discovered.

Notifiable diseases

The infectious diseases (in Dutch) that must be reported include, but are not limited to:

This notification must be made to the infectious disease physician of your region's Municipal Health Service (GGD, in Dutch) within a specified period, depending on the type of disease and the degree of risk to public health. Failing to report is a punishable offence. Medical confidentiality does not apply to this duty to report. You must notify, even if the laboratory already reported.

Do you work with animals and do you suspect a contagious animal disease (zoonosis), such as brucellosis, mpox, rabies, or Q fever? You have to report this.

Measures to prevent spreading of infectious diseases

The mayor or chairman of the safety region may impose extra measures to prevent further spreading of a disease.

Possible measures include:

  • compulsory isolation at home or in a hospital
  • enforced quarantine
  • prohibition of professional practice

Independent entrepreneurs and employees

If employees or independent entrepreneurs contract an infectious disease that they are obliged to notify, they can also be prohibited to carry out their profession or work. The mayor or chairman of the safety region may impose this prohibition.

Captains of aircraft and ships

Captains of aircraft or ships must be able to prove the health condition on board at the request of the mayor or chairman of the safety region. For this purpose the captain submits the health part of the general certificate for aircraft or a maritime health certificate.

Operators of ports and airports

The mayor or chairman of the safety region can, for example, oblige operators of a civic port or civic airport to:

  • inform passengers about taking measures that prevent infectious diseases or infection of luggage;
  • examine departing or arriving travellers with regard to possible infectious diseases that may be dangerous for public health.

Transport operators

The mayor or chairman of the safety region can, for example, oblige transport operators to:

  • check aircraft or ships and the present goods for a possible infection;
  • disinfect aircraft or ships and the present goods.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO