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Air Pollution: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 67630, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his air quality policies of the British Lung Foundation’s survey of 4 June that found that one in six people with lung conditions experienced reduced symptoms during the covid-19 lockdown; and what steps he is taking to ensure that public health is central to his Department’s strategy on air pollution.

Answered on

10 July 2020

The Government is taking a proactive approach to understand the possible links between air quality and COVID-19. That is why, with our Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), we ran a rapid Call for Evidence to ensure we can more fully understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on air pollutant emissions, concentrations and human exposure. This report was published on 1 July. We welcome the work of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and their survey was discussed at our recent round table meeting with health stakeholders, including the BLF.

Improving air quality remains a top priority for the Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts.