Monitoring Sound and Its Perception during the Lockdown and De-Escalation of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Spanish Study
Redel-Macías, María Dolores
Cubero-Atienza, Antonio J.
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The lockdown measures in Spain due to the SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic from 13 March to 21 June 2020 had extensive social and environmental implications. This study aims to understand how the measures of lockdown have influenced noise levels, as well as people’s perception of sound quality before and after lockdown, including de-escalation. For this purpose, an online survey was carried out. Moreover, the noise linked to the Global Positioning System (GPS) position of each individual respondent was recorded aiming to correlate the noise level with the result of the survey. An average reduction of over 30 dB was observed compared with the sound pressure level before lockdown. Furthermore, it was found that the loudness parameter, together with the overall level, increased as the country started relaxing restrictions. Additionally, results showed that the perception of noise quality changed depending on the phase of de-escalation (p < 0.01), the type of property (p < 0.05), and the outside noise (p < 0.01). Moreover, noise annoyance was determined considering age (p < 0.01), gender (p < 0.05), type of property (p < 0.001), and home refurbishment (p < 0.05). It may be concluded that the most important measure to decrease noise levels is the reduction of traffic noise, through using eco-friendly public transportation or bicycles and limiting nightlife hours.