Macedonian government imposes emergency measures because of air pollution

Macedonia's government has imposed emergency measures in four cities, including Skopje, the capital, to address heavy air pollution caused by traffic and wood- and oil-burning heating systems.

For the past six days, airborne particle concentrations in the cities have exceeded the highest permissible levels during freezing winter weather.

The Environment Ministry on Tuesday instructed private companies and state institutions in the four cities to let pregnant woman and employees over the age of 60 remain at home.

Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools also were advised to avoid outdoor activities, and construction workers were warned to avoid work before 11 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Trucks will also be banned from the city centers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The measures will be in force until Saturday.