On Friday 13 November, a number of terrorist incidents took place in Paris resulting in widespread casualties. You should be vigilant in public places, follow the advice of the local authorities and subscribe to email alerts for updates to this travel advice. French authorities have heightened security measures so allow time in your travel plans for any disruption this may cause. Systematic border control checks have been implemented at all entry points into France. A national state of emergency has been declared for 3 months. Public gatherings, flying drones and the use of fireworks in the Ile de France region (Paris and surrounding area) are prohibited.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends that British schools planning to take groups to France between now and 6 December follow the updated French Ministry of Education’s advice not to travel to the Ile-de-France region (including the metropolitan area of Paris). The French Ministry of Education has stated that journeys travelling through the Ile-de-France region but not stopping are permitted, and that trips to the rest of France are now allowed.
In recent months there has been occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais. Check online with your chosen operator before you set off. Information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.
There are large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. You should keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic and secure your vehicle when it is left unattended.
Robust border security means that anyone who attempts to transport an illegal migrant across the border faces a considerable jail term.
The 21st session of the conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (COP21) will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. Major roads, including those going to Paris airports will be closed on Sunday 29 November from 4pm to 10pm and on Monday 30 November from 6am to 9pm. Full details are on the Prefecture de Police and French government websites. On other days, traffic will be heavier in Paris, as well as between Paris airports and central Paris. Real-time information on traffic conditions is available at Sytadin.
There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against ISIL, the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures. See Terrorism
Industrial action by farmers may cause road blockades and closures. See the Bison Futé website for the latest traffic news.
Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pick-pocketing. See Safety and security
The Emergency phone number in France is 112.
You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See Health
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.