Travelling to China? Take a Mask

Hoping to experience China without the smog? That’s not too likely, judging from recent images of pedestrians trying to slice their way through haze thick enough to stop traffic. But thanks to China’s largest online travel agency, International, and insurance giant Ping An Insurance Group, tourists to China can get a little protection if they get socked in by the nation’s infamous dirty air.

According to, tourists who book three- to seven-day packages or backpack tours with Ctrip can choose to buy haze insurance on the website and file claims so long as they stay in their designated city for at least two days during hazy weather. Premiums are priced at 10 yuan ($1.60 US), and the daily compensation limit is 50 yuan per person—not a king’s ransom, but enough for a beer or two in a bar that may have cleaner air than the great outdoors.

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The first six cities chosen to try out the insurance plan are Beijing, Xi’an, Harbin, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. The cities were chosen based on their popularity and their weather standards. Between February 16 and March 17, Shanghai experienced 17 days of air pollution with the AQI index exceeding 100, and Beijing had 9 days with the index over 200.

Now, how much does a face mask cost?

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