Assessing environmental impacts of COVID-19 emergency public health measures in Oxford City.

  • Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:3 publications

Grant number: NE/V010360/1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Birmingham
  • Research Category

    Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

  • Research Subcategory

    Other secondary impacts

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Emergency public health measures were implemented across the UK in early 2020 to suppress COVID-19 transmission; with major implications for ambient air quality (AQ). Well publicised satellite data have indicated associated reductions in air pollutant (AP) concentrations with potential benefits for human health; however ground-based measurements suggest more complex trends in UK cities. These events present a unique natural experimental opportunity to better understand environmental consequences arising from these measures and to apply this learning to future AQ intervention scenarios. Our research focus is Oxford (population ~155,000). Oxford has significant AQ and health inequity challenges, with the equivalent of 1 in 20 early deaths attributed to AP exposure. The City and County Councils plan to introduce a Zero Emissions Zone and enhanced Low Emission Zone from 2021 and to achieve carbon neutral status by 2030. Oxford is also a focal point for existing research activity, including NIHR, Defra, Highways England and Research England funded studies supporting a broad range of environmental and transport monitoring capabilities and existing research infrastructure, which we plan to utilise and repurpose for this study. We plan a 18 month study to integrate longitudinal data arising from multiple observational inputs (e.g. AQ, noise, smart roadside sensors) to enable robust evaluation of the positive and negative impacts of introduction, maintenance and removal of COVID-19 measures in Oxford City. The data we assimilate will be used to generate a series of AQ control scenarios and predicted health benefits, thereby informing and redefining council-led AQ policy and climate strategy.

Publicationslinked via Europe PMC

Last Updated:40 minutes ago

View all publications at Europe PMC

Impacts of ambient air quality on acute asthma hospital admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic in Oxford City, UK: a time-series study.

The impact of COVID-19 public health restrictions on particulate matter pollution measured by a validated low-cost sensor network in Oxford, UK.

Impacts of emergency health protection measures upon air quality, traffic and public health: evidence from Oxford, UK.