PCR Test

What is a PCR Test?

The classic test for COVID-19 is done with a “PCR test”, which detects genetic material from the virus. This is the most reliable test. But you have to waiting for the result until the test is taken to a lab sent and analysed. Due to its reliability, this type of test is the standard for testing for COVID-19.

You cannot do a PCR test yourself. This should always be done by a medical specialist; a company that offers this type of corona testing, or at the GGD in the Netherlands.

PCR Test with Travel Certificate

If you are going to travel, some countries require a PCR test with travel certificate to enter the country.

A PCR test or a antigen test with a travel certificate you cannot do it yourself, because you cannot issue a travel certificate yourself, you must have this done by a specialized company. The GGD in the Netherlands also no longer issues travel certificates, here you can only get yourself tested for the coronavirus.

There are two types of PCR tests in the Netherlands:

PCR test

This is the most ongoing corona test that the GGD, but also other companies, offer. The following method is done with a cotton swab:

  • First they scrape mucus from your throat with a cotton swab
  • After that, they put the cotton swab in the back of your nose and turn it around for 5 seconds.

After taking this test, the sample is sent to the laboratory. Depending on the provider and the package you have chosen, you will receive the result within 12-48 hours.


A NAAT PCR test is a newer technology that is not yet offered by everyone. At a PCR NAAT test, the samples no longer have to go to the laboratory, but they can see this directly on location with a special machine. The advantage of a PCR-NAAT test is that you have the result within 30 minutes.

The method of a PCR-NAAT test is the same as a regular PCR test.

Providers PCR Test

Since you cannot do a PCR test yourself, you have to go to a medical company that offers this type of corona testing. Often you can't just drop by, and you have to make an appointment in advance on their website.

It GGD still offers free PCR tests for those who have complaints related to the coronavirus. However, you will not receive a travel certificate from the GGD for your trip abroad

Spoedtest.nl is one of the largest providers in PCR testing and antigen testing. They also offer the PCR-NAAT test at some locations, where you have the result within 30 minutes.

Corona Check app

The easiest way is to load your results into the Corona-Check app, because you will immediately receive a QR code that shows your test proof. Please note: not all providers of PCR tests and antigen tests have the option to put your test certificate in the Coronacheck app. So check this carefully.

Spoedtest.nl does have the option to download the test results in your Coronacheck app.