This paper presents a rapid assessment of current and likely future impacts of the COVID19 outbreak on rural economies given their socio-economic characteristics. Drawing principally on current evidence for the UK, as well as lessons from the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak and the 2007/8 financial crises, it outlines the likely key demand and supply effects, paying attention to the situation for agriculture as well as discussing the implications for rural communities. A distinction is made between the effects on businesses offering goods and services for out-of-home as opposed to in-home consumption. Gendered dimensions are also noted as likely business and household strategies for coping and adaptation. The paper concludes with a brief mapping of a research agenda for studying the longer-term effects of COVID-19 on rural economies.