11:19 GMT20 January 2021
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    Thousands of Chinese citizens will go abroad in December because of heavy smog in the capital and northern regions of the country, local media reported on Monday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) On Thursday, Beijing authorities announced red smog alert, the utmost warning level for air pollution in China, from December 16 to 21. The authorities cut the amount of cars on the road in half and temporarily closed kindergartens, primary schools, factories and construction sites in the capital. Red alert regime was also established in 23 other cities across north and central China.

    A recently issued report by the biggest Chinese travel website, Ctrip.com, as quoted by the South China Morning Post says that 150,000 people in China are going abroad in December to escape smog. According to the report, each year more than one million Chinese citizens go traveling because of the same reason.

    According to the travel website Qunar.com, search of tickets to western and coastal regions of China untouched by smog tripled after the alert announcement. Plane tickets to free of smog southern resorts such as Sanya in Hainan province, Dali in Yunnan province and Xiamen in Fujian province are almost sold out.

    According to the newspaper, residents of the most smog-affected cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Tianjin are the most often travelers during the periods of heavy smog.

    Beijing and other Chinese cities have for years been suffering from air pollution caused by big amount of cars, coal burning, dust storms and construction dust.

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