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AQC Investigates the Effect of COVID-19 Social and Travel Restrictions on UK Air Quality


Air Quality Consultants Ltd has analysed trends in air quality over the year to date to investigate whether the recently implemented COVID-19 social and travel restrictions have influenced air quality across the UK.  No obvious influence has been identified as yet, but the analysis will be updated over the coming days/weeks/months to establish whether effects become apparent.

Significant reductions in pollutant concentrations have been identified in other countries where social and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been implemented. Air Quality Consultants Ltd has investigated whether the restrictions recently implemented in the UK have had an effect on pollutant concentrations.

The analysis has focussed on roadside measurements of nitrogen oxides (NOx), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10, taken across the UK; with a separate analysis looking solely at trends within London.  The report is available here​

The analysis has not, to date, identified any obvious influence from the social and travel restrictions implemented in the UK. This does not mean that changes in travel behaviour have not had any effect on concentrations; simply that effects are not yet sufficient to be identified using the analyses presented. 

Air Quality Consultants Ltd will update this analysis over the coming days/weeks/months to better establish whether COVID-19 related social and travel restrictions are affecting air quality in the UK.

© Air Quality Consultants 2020