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Long COVID

How long have you had symptoms?

The type of care you can expect to receive when recovering from coronavirus depends on how long you have had symptoms. On this page, read about the support that’s available at each phase of recovery.

On this page:

Less than 4 weeks 

If you have had symptoms for up to 4 weeks, you are at the acute infection stage.  You can find more information on what this means and advice on what to do if you already have a lung condition on our COVID-19 health advice pages.  

4 to 12 weeks

If you still have symptoms 4-12 weeks after you first had symptoms of COVID-19, you may be diagnosed with ongoing symptomatic COVID-19. This is classed as Long COVID.  The first thing you should do is speak to your GP. They will investigate your symptoms and first try to rule out possible causes that aren’t related to COVID-19, or if they are after-effects of COVID-19 that need investigating.

You should contact your GP surgery, who will offer you an appointment either in person, by video or over the phone.  They should also give you information in the format or language you need, as this will help you make decisions about your care.   

If you have been in hospital with COVID-19, you should be contacted by a healthcare professional 6 weeks after you’ve been discharged, to check on how you’re doing and ask about your symptoms. 

What to expect:

12 weeks + 

If you have had symptoms for more than 12 weeks, which can’t be explained by another condition or diagnosis, you may be diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome. You might find that you have lots of different symptoms and that they change over time. They may get better or worse and affect different parts of your body.  


Both this and ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 are classed as Long COVID.  

What can I expect if I haven’t seen a doctor about my symptoms?

You should contact your GP surgery, who will offer you an appointment either in person, by video or over the phone.  They should also give you information in the format or language you need, as this will help you make decisions about your care.

What to expect:

What can I expect if I have seen a doctor about my symptoms?

If you’ve already seen a health care professional about your symptoms, you might be at various stages of your care and recovery. You might find it helpful to look through one or more of the following sections:

What to expect:

Next: Rehabilitation after staying in hospital

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