Coronavirus FAQs

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we will regularly update these frequently asked questions for livestock farmers, arable growers and the business community. Explore the links below for practical advice.

If you have a question you'd like answered, please email:

About the virus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of sense of smell or taste.

The majority of people who develop coronavirus will only have mild symptoms. As with other such respiratory viruses, coronavirus may cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions, like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Please refer to the latest NHS guidance on how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing), which includes staying at home if you have coronavirus symptoms.

Use the NHS 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do next. You can call NHS 111 if you need to speak to someone, or use the online assessment tool. When possible, people who are sick or under medical attention for coronavirus should avoid close contact with livestock – see FAQs for further advice.

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat. Testing is most effective when done within three days of symptoms developing

If you are an essential worker you can apply for priority testing. Employers can also refer their staff for priority testing if they are essential workers. 

For more information on the test, who is an essential worker and how to book a test, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Coronavirus and AHDB

AHDB has a legal requirement to collect the levy.

However, we are very mindful of the financial difficulties some levy-paying businesses might be under, with disruption to supply chains and potential labour shortages. We are all operating in unprecedented times right now and need to manage a multitude of complex issues.

If your business is experiencing financial difficulties and you are concerned about your levy payments, please contact the AHDB levy team at and we will contact you to discuss your situation and, as appropriate, we will work with you on a more manageable payment plan.


Yellow Wellies has published a guide to coping with the stresses of Covid-19. 

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is the first port of call for pastoral and practical support for anyone in the farming community, with a particular focus on farmers and farming families. The helpline is available every day of the year, 7am to 11pm.

Call 03000 111 999 or visit the FCN website.

You can also view this webinar on mental health with Vicki Beers from the FCN. 

The YANA Project provides confidential support, mental health awareness and funding for counselling for those in farming and rural trades in Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcestershire and has compiled, published and funded a directory of regional support groups and key national charities which can specifically help those in rural communities.

Call 0300 323 0400 or visit the YANA website for support in your area.

Other useful numbers include the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), which offers financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages, including farmers, farmworkers and dependants.

Call 0808 281 9490 or visit the RABI website

RSABI is RABI's sister charity in Scotland. They provide emotional, practical and financial support to people in the agricultural sector.

Call 0300 111 4166 or visit the RSABI website