Beijing issues first red alert for smog

Beijing has issued its first red alert for air pollution.

The red alert, the most serious level, will last from Tuesday to Thursday.

Shrouded in smog, again. Air Quality Index readings in most cellphone apps rose to over 200 for almost all monitoring stations across Beijing on Monday, advising people to reduce outdoor activities.

This, comes after the worst period of air pollution this year took AQI readings in the capital to the maximum 500 on Nov. 30.

While the city did not issue a red alert during that spell of smog, the rules drawn up two years ago state that a red alert should be issued in periods when the AQI is expected to surpass 200 for three consecutive days.

The red alert, the most serious level, is under a four-tier emergency response system created in October 2013.

According to rule, the city has advised kindergartens, primary and high schools to suspend classes, banned outdoor operations on construction sites and required some industrial plants to limit or stop production.

Car use will also be limited, with vehicles allowed on the roads on alternating days depending on the odd or even numbers of their license plates.

The restriction of car use is expected to push an extra two million passengers onto public transport per day.

The heavy smog is expected to disperse on Thursday afternoon as a cold front arrives.

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