PMID: 33555768


This guideline covers identifying, assessing and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, often described as ‘long COVID’. It makes recommendations about care in all healthcare settings for adults, children and young people who have new or ongoing symptoms 4 weeks or more after the start of acute COVID-19. It also includes advice on organising services for long COVID.

This guideline has been developed jointly by NICE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

To develop the recommendations, we have used the following clinical definitions for the initial illness and long COVID at different times:

Acute COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 4 weeks.

Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from 4 to 12 weeks.

Post-COVID-19 syndrome: signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

When using this guideline, follow the usual professional guidelines, standards and laws (including those on equalities, safeguarding, communication and mental capacity), as described in making decisions using NICE guidelines.

Who is it for?:

Health and care practitioners

Health and care staff involved in planning and delivering services


Guideline development process: We are using a ‘living’ approach for the guideline, which means that targeted areas will be continuously reviewed and updated in response to emerging evidence.

We developed this guideline using the interim process and methods for guidelines developed in response to health and social care emergencies.

Keywords: COVID-19, Long COVID

More on: COVID-19