Video: After COVID-19 — how to recover
If you get new COVID-19 symptoms
28 days or fewer since a previous infection
If you get COVID-19 symptoms again and it has been 28 days or fewer since a previous infection (either from when you tested positive or you first had symptoms) and:
- you are low risk, you do not need to take another test — stay home and recover, until 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms
- you have an underlying health condition or have COVID-19-like symptoms that are getting worse, you should seek advice from a health practitioner or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
29 days or more since a previous infection
If you have COVID-19 symptoms again and it has been 29 days or more since a previous infection, you should take a RAT. If it is positive, you must self-isolate and follow the same advice as for your first infection.
If someone you live with gets COVID-19
Once you have recovered from COVID-19, you do not need to isolate again for 3 months if someone you live with tests positive.
This is because the risk of reinfection during this period is low.
Long COVID describes the symptoms that continue or develop after the initial COVID-19 symptoms. This is usually longer than 12 weeks after a person is first infected.
Most people who get COVID-19 recover from the acute signs and symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks. And they should be back to all activities they were doing before COVID-19 by 12 weeks. However, some people report a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery.
Symptoms of long COVID can persist for weeks or sometimes months. They can include:
- sore throat
- chest tightness
- chest pain
- difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairment or 'brain fog'
- difficulty sleeping
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- muscle pain.
For support with the management and treatment of long COVID, seek help from your doctor or healthcare team. COVID-19 healthcare is fully funded for up to 6 weeks from the first day of your symptoms or the day you test positive, whichever is earlier.
You can find more information about long COVID, including more commonly reported symptoms, on the Ministry of Health website:
Keep up healthy habits
Even if you have had COVID-19 or are vaccinated, you still need to keep up healthy habits. It is possible to get COVID-19 again.
Get vaccinated if you are not already
Once you have recovered and if you have not been vaccinated or had your booster, it is recommended you still get vaccinated.
You should wait 3 months after testing positive before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
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