Let A = (a
ij
) be an idempotent latin square of order n, n ≥ 3, in which a
ii = i, 1 ≤ i ≤ nc. A set S ⊆ N = {1, 2, …, n} is a cover of A if (N × N)\{(i, i):i ∉ S} = {(i, j): i ∊ S, j ∊ N} ∪ {(j, i): i ∊ S, j ∊ N} ∪ {(i, j): a
ij
∊ S}. A cover S is minimum for A if |S| < |T| for every cover T of A and we write c(A) = |S|. We denote by c(n) the maximum value of c(A) over all idempotent latin squares A of order n and in this paper show that (7n/10)-3.8 ≤ c (n) < n - n
1/3 + 1 for all n ≥ 15. The problem of determining c(n) was first raised by J. Schönheim.