(From Reuters)

China’s capital issued its first ever “red alert” for pollution, the Beijing city government said on Monday, warning that the city would be shrouded in heavy smog from Tuesday until Thursday.

Policemen wear protective masks at the Tiananmen Square on an extremely polluted day as hazardous, choking smog continues to blanket Beijing Dec. 1

China’s leadership has vowed to crack down on environmental degradation, including the air pollution that blankets many major cities, following decades of unbridled economic growth.

In an online statement, the city government said all outdoor construction work must stop on red alert days, while also urging schools to close.

The notice, issued after days of heavy smog last week, also places traffic restrictions on certain types of vehicles in the city of 22.5 million people.

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