The effect of the curfew due to the pandemic of Covid-19 virus on the levels of air pollution in the historic center of Quito was evaluated with a focus on tropospheric ozone (O3). During the curfew period the daily O3 mean concentration increased by 96%, 109% and 95% in comparison to the concentrations for the same period in the years 2017, 2018 and 2019. This increase is mainly explained by considerable reduction in NOx emissions, thus there was little titration of ozone accumulated in the city environment due to its shallow boundary layer by NO, reaching its maximum concentration at midday. Among studied pollutants that influence O3 formation (CO, NO2, PM2.5) during the curfew the contaminant that showed the greatest reduction in the mean concentration compared to three previous years was NO2, followed by CO and PM2.5. The daily O3 8-hour mean concentrations during the curfew both on weekdays and weekends were lower than the limit values. These results are relevant for designing abatement policies of secondary pollutants such as O3 under strict measures of control of primary pollutant emissions. © The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020.