France Travel Warnings and Alerts

Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to France.

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Paris Protests - December 2018

Another weekend of protests has been announced for December 8th, 2018 despite the French President Emmanuel Macron announcing the cancellation of the fuel tax hike, with authorities reporting that main tourist attractions will be closed over the weekend. First division football games and two music festivals have been canceled in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe remains closed after being damaged in last weekend's protests. ~89,000 police will be deployed across the country. The following Paris venues will be closed:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre museum
  • Orsay museums
  • Grand Palais complex
  • Garnier Opera House
  • Bastille Opera House
  • Restaurants, cafes and shops on the Champs Elysees have also been encouraged to close.

Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings, travel advisories and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

December 1st, 2018 Protests

Protests have turned violent in Paris since demonstrations started across France two weeks ago in response to the French Government increasing a tax on fuel prices. On December 1, thousands rioted in Paris streets and in tourist areas including the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Rue Royale; damaging the Arc itself and other infrastructure, setting vehicles alight and vandalizing buildings. Protests were also held in other locations around France including Marseilles, Arles, Narbonne, Bordeaux and Toulouse. Future protests could occur.

It's reported to be the worst civil unrest in a decade with more than 400 people arrested and more than 130 people injured during the violent clashes. Authorities used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors. There is still a heavy police and riot squad presence in Paris after the weekend's events.

Riot police hold their line during protests in Paris on December 1st. Photo credit: GettyImages/nurphoto-contributor

What to Do During a Protest

Being caught up in a protest can be a frightening experience for any traveler. But there are things you can do to to stay safe. Check out our article on civil unrest which has advice on what to do pre-trip, during travel and post civil unrest.

Older Alerts

Nice Terror Attack - July 14 2016

In what has been condemned as a callous “terror attack” a truck has deliberately driven into crowds watching a fireworks display on Bastille Day in Nice, southern France. The driver is reported to have also used a weapon to shoot indiscriminately. The death toll at the time of publishing was put at 80 and may rise.

Our condolences go out not only to the victims and their families, but also to the French people who are reeling from recent terror attacks in Paris. 

Check with local media for the latest details and updates on country-wide travel restrictions.

Security officials are surmising this attack may herald a new strategy in the campaign by terror groups, and it reflects the call by ISIS to perpetrate so-called lone wolf attacks using “whatever you have, wherever you are”. This may herald a new regime of security and anti-terror procedures.

In the meantime, World Nomads is urging travellers to retain perspective on terror events, and understand that the chance of being a victim are still extremely small. In fact, you are statistically four times more likely to be hit by lightning.

Don't confuse the possibility of a terror attack with the probability of being involved in one.

Remember there are psychological reasons why you may feel uncertain about travel; we're more afraid of events that are gruesome, unpredictable and unfamiliar. We feel less fear about everyday dangers such as heart attack, auto accidents or skin cancer - all of which are much more likely to kill you.

However, there are actions you can take to further lessen the likelihood you will become a victim. These include carefully considering the security around large-scale, easily accessible, public events. If at all possible get yourself inside a secure area at any event. This may mean a ticketed event, or a secure area set up by organisers. Inside such an area, like being behind the security checkpoint at an airport, is the safest option.

Alternatively, if you stay in a publicly accessible area, stay away from the heaviest concentration of crowds, keep to the fringes where the sheer number of people presents less of a target and there is the option of making a quick escape if trouble should occur.

Am I Covered for Terrorist Attack?

If you are injured in a terrorist attack your medical costs and medical evacuation (if required) are covered by your policy.

Access to the benefits of cancellation and trip interruption depends on your country of residence, so check out the information here.

If you are a World Nomads policyholder check the wording on your policy.

If you are not a World Nomads policyholder the policy wording is accessible after you get a quote (no obligation to purchase), but remember, you will not be covered for this incident if you purchase the policy after it has occurred, but you'll be covered for future unrelated events.

Anyone, policyholder or not, is welcome to call the customer assistance teams and discuss coverage.

France Transport Strike - June 2016

France is in the grip of widespread industrial action that is likely to cause severe disruption to travel throughout June 2016.

Strike action is impacting fuel deliveries to airports and the nation's network of service stations. This may result in flights being cancelled, and rationing of petrol/diesel for cars. Panic buying has already caused some stations to run out of supplies.

Also joining the strikes are air traffic controllers, rail workers and other general transport workers.

This may impact flights, TGV high-speed trains, inter-city trains, local rail services and the Paris Metro and RER services.

However, June 14 is shaping up as the worst day for disruption with calls for a nationwide 24-hour strike.

What Services are Disrupted?

What will be affected, and how severely, depends on how many workers turn up for work on any given day. For this reason it is important that you check the websites of travel providers daily for updates to services and schedules.

Air France

SNCF 

Air France has a very active presence on social media. SNCF has an extensive app with real-time schedules. You can find all of them through the links above.

Check media reports for the latest information.

The BBC is covering the strike as are several other UK newspapers such as The Daily TelegraphFrance24 has an English language version. The Local is an English language news service covering several European nations.

Am I Covered?

The EU has strict rules which enforce airlines and other travel providers to assit travellers stranded by incidents such as this. It is the responsibility of the travel provider to get you to your destination at the earliest practicable opportunity, provide for your needs during any delay (subject to time restrictions, and compensate you for the inconvenience. Yes, compensation! This is the wording from the EU Air Passenger Rights website:

if you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late on arrival at the final destination stated on your ticket, you may be entitled to compensation of EUR 250 - 600, depending on the distance of the flight.

In addition, SNCF has a standing policy of allowing tickets from cancelled services to be used on other trains. Check their site for details.

These rights apply to all people travelling in the EU regardless of their nationality.

One catch to it all - if you have booked flights and accommodation seperately, i.e. NOT as a package, you cannot be compensated under these rules for cancelling your hotel because your flight is cancelled. Your contract is with the hotel and they are not responsible for how you get there. You'll have to plead with them for a refund or the opportunity to reschedule. In this case, talk to us about your options and coverage.

Some, but not all, World Nomads travel insurance plans include cover for travel delays or pre-trip cancellations/rescheduling if you have non-refundable expenses due to unexpected strikes. Travel insurance is not designed to cover everything so check your policy wording for the full terms, conditions and exclusions of cover or contact us.

I Need Help!

If you are stranded or impacted by these strikes, you should contact your transportation provider immediately to see if you can reschedule or rearrange your plans, get a refund on your tickets or claim for compensation. You should do this before you change your travel plans or make a claim with us as they may be able to help minimise your losses.  If you’re unsure about your coverage, please call our Worldwide 24 hour emergency assistance teams.

Worldwide 24 Hour Emergency Assistance

Need assistance? Find the emergency contact telephone number for you.

So we can best assist you, please be ready with the following:

  • Your policy number
  • A contact number for where you are now
  • The nature of your problem
  • If you are ill or injured we will need details of medical consultations you have had.

Get a travel insurance quote for France

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

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