The city of Beijing will raise the threshold for issuing pollution red alerts that can force the close of factory operations and schools and restrict construction and driving, The New York Times reported, citing state news agency Xinhua. New rules to take effect before the end of March will cause a red alert to be issued only if daily average air quality index is forecast to exceed 500 for one day, 300 for two days or 200 for four days, rather than any reading of above 200 for more than three days. The new standards will also be applied to neighboring provinces that have suffered from severe air pollution.
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