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Air pollution levels during COVID-19

The UK introduced a nationwide lockdown on 23rd of March 2020 to reduce the onward transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Low levels of air pollution have been reported following the lockdown and attributed to reduced road traffic and industrial activity across the UK. During the lockdown, weekly mean levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) recorded by the air quality monitoring station on the A56 in Trafford has remained lower than the weekly mean levels for the same period during 2019 and 2018. Interestingly, NO2 levels before the lockdown were also noticeably lower than during the preceding years. It is difficult to know why this is the case but weather conditions are likely to have played a significant part because local and national road traffic levels seem to have been normal.

Weekly mean concentrations of NO2 in Trafford from February to April 2018, 2019 and 2020.