Impact of High Solar UV Radiant Exposures in Spring 2020 on SARS-CoV-2 Viral Inactivation in the UK

Rebecca Rendell*, Marina Khazova, Michael Higlett, John O’Hagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Potential for SARS-CoV-2 viral inactivation by solar UV radiation in outdoor spaces in the UK has been assessed. Average erythema effective and UV-A daily radiant exposures per month were higher (statistically significant, P < 0.05) in spring 2020 in comparison with spring 2015–2019 across most of the UK, while irradiance generally appeared to be in the normal expected range of 2015–2019. It was found that these higher radiant exposures may have increased the potential for SARS-CoV-2 viral inactivation outdoors in April and May 2020. Assessment of the 6-year period 2015–2020 in the UK found that for 50–60% of the year, that is most of October to March, solar UV is unlikely to have a significant (at least 90% inactivation) impact on viral inactivation outdoors. Minimum times to reach 90% and 99% inactivation in the UK are of the order of tens of minutes and of the order of hours, respectively. However, these times are best case scenarios and should be treated with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-548
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number3
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Crown copyright. Photochemistry and Photobiology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Photobiology. This article is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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