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China issues red alert over smog levels, schools closed, driving restrictions imposed

Published:Monday | December 7, 2015 | 4:13 PM
A woman wearing a mask to protect herself from pollutants walks past office buildings shrouded with pollution haze in Beijing today.

Schools in Beijing are to close and outdoor construction to stop after the Chinese capital issued its first red alert over smog levels.

The red alert is the highest possible, and has not been used in the city before.

Authorities expect more than three consecutive days of severe smog.

Cars with odd and even number plates will be banned from driving on alternate days.

The order will last until Thursday when a cold front is expected to arrive and clear the smog.

China's CCTV news channel reported at the weekend that some parts of Beijing had visibility of only 660 feet.