Paper face masks have been common here for a long time, but now the heavy-duty kind with purifying canister filters – of the sort you might wear for a day of asbestos removal – are frequently seen on the streets. The British School is the latest of Beijing’s international colleges to go to the drastic lengths of building an artificial bubble in which to simulate a normal environment beneath the cloak of smog. Earlier this year, the nearby International School of Beijing lavished £3m on a pair of domes covering an area of six tennis courts, with hospital-grade air-filtration systems, following the lead of the Beijing satellite of exclusive British private school Dulwich College, which opened its own clean-air dome last year.
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