Impact of the first induced COVID-19 lockdown on air quality in Israel

Sarit Agami*, Uri Dayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) induced a lockdown that has resulted in a sharp reduction in air and motor traffic and industrial activities. This in turn led to a reduction in air pollution around the world. It is important to quantify the extent of that reduction in order to estimate the weight of the impact of air and motor traffic and industrial activities over the total variation of air quality. An assessment of the extent of air pollution is aimed at facilitating the crafting of policies toward the reduction of pollution and the improvement in air quality. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on air pollution in Israel. Particularly, we focus on Haifa and Greater Tel-Aviv (Gush-Dan), two regions with high air pollution, while examining different types of air monitoring stations. The period to which we refer to is March 8, 2020, to May 2, 2020. The results reveal two main findings: (1) During the COVID-19 lockdown, pollution emissions decreased relative to the same period in 2019. The biggest reduction was observed in NOx, which, on average, was 41%. Surprisingly, ground-level ozone (O3) increased, and appeared to behave similarly to the ozone weekend effect. (2) The total percentage variation in pollution emission that was explained by the lockdown was at most 26%. By adding the meteorological conditions (which included measures of wind direction, wind speed, and temperature) as a factor in addition to the lockdown effect, this percent increased to 47%.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number118627
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Air pollution
  • COVID-19 lockdown
  • Linear regression
  • NOx reduction
  • Ozone weekend effect
  • Pollution emissions


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