Home News Air quality before, during the pandemic and after the release of the measures

Air quality before, during the pandemic and after the release of the measures

24. 06. 2021 Ovzdušie

In connection with strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reports of significant improvements in air quality spread around the world last year. The reason for the decrease in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the air was mainly due to the restriction in mobility. However, with the relaxation of measures, air quality is returning to the old ways. This is evidenced by footage from the Copernicus program.


Copernicus, the European Union's Earth observation and monitoring program, reports on average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in Europe in March 2019, 2020 and 2021 through images published in early April 2021.

Footage suggests that after a significant decline in pollution levels in 2020, NO2 concentrations are back at pre-pandemic levels after one year. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations in Brussels fell by around 36% in 2020 compared to 2019. However, as regards 2021, the level of pollution in Brussels is at a level comparable to 2019.

Source: European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-5P Data imagery

The Copernicus program monitors our planet and its environment, with benefits for all European citizens. The program offers information services based on satellite Earth observation and in situ (non-space) data. Huge amounts of global data from satellites and terrestrial, airborne and maritime measurement systems are used to provide information on which service providers, public sector bodies and other international organizations can improve the lives of Europe's citizens. The information services provided are free and publicly available to users. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission.

The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute also informed about the decrease in nitrogen oxide concentrations during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. The current state of air quality can be monitored via the official SHMI website or the web application