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COVID-19 - Plant Health


Defra recognises the additional challenges being presented to industry as a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak. We aim to support businesses involved in the trade in plants and plant products, to help ease pressure on the food supply chain without compromising the safeguarding of UK biosecurity. We are also contributing to central initiatives, for example, on how Defra can best support the UK’s food supply chain through this period. For guidance and support for businesses and employers, visit GOV.UK.

The government has published the following FAQ which sets out what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes advice on whether you should stay at home or go to work, what you should do if you are not a critical worker but cannot work from home and what businesses, such as shops and public venues have been asked to close to reduce social contact. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

A letter to trade has also been published that states that across Government and within Defra, officials are working hard to ensure vital supplies are maintained and our industries are being supported through these unprecedented times we all face

Plant Health

Letter to Trade Thumbnail III

 Letter to Trade

 PDF, 107 KB, 2 pages

Plants Varieties and Seed - Seed certification


 Letter to Trade

 PDF, 164 KB, 2 pages


Update 20/07/2022

The EU Commission have published Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1341, which amends Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 as regards the performance of official controls and other official activities by specifically authorised natural persons, the performance of analyses, testing or diagnoses and the period of application of temporary measures. This new regulation extends the use of electronic copies of phytosanitary certificates to 1 July 2022.

For further updates on this easement, please see here.

Contact us

For queries in relation to the Plant Health COVID-19 response, please contact

For general queries, please contact: