Beijing, Dec 22 Beijing lifted its red alert for air pollution on Thursday after the smog dispersed in the wind and the skies cleared once again over the Chinese capital.

As the particulate matter concentration of PM 2.5 fell from over 400 micrograms per cubic meter to 60 on Thursday, schools and nurseries reopened and restrictions on traffic were lifted, Efe news reported.

However, severe smog continues to affect parts of northern China including Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, where pollution remains above 500 micrograms per cubic meter and schools remain shut.

Over 20 cities in northern China had issued a red alert over the weekend after witnessing worst pollution levels this year.