Foreign travel advice

France

Summary

French unions have called for transport strikes across France during the week beginning 30 May 2016, which may affect rail and air travel across France and Paris metro and bus services. Check with your travel provider or airline for the latest updates. You can find real time information on rail traffic on the SNCF website and on Paris metro and bus systems on the RATP website.

Following industrial action (blockades of fuel depots), fuel purchasing restrictions have been put in place by local authorities in some parts of France. In certain areas you may not be able to fill up jerrycans, and fuel rationing may be imposed. Some petrol stations may have run out of some types of fuel. The Mon-essence.fr website has produced a map developed from data supplied by users of its mobile app to help motorists identify petrol stations where fuel is not available.

On 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Mediterranean. The Egyptian authorities are co-ordinating the response to this incident. The causes of the aircraft’s disappearance are as yet unknown

The FCO has put together some top travel and safety tips to help fans travelling to France for Euro 2016. See ‘Be on the ball’.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.

On Friday 13 November 2015, a number of terrorist incidents took place in Paris resulting in widespread casualties. A national state of emergency remains in place. You should be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of the local authorities. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

There is occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais. Check the website of your chosen operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.

While there continue to be large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally, the security situation has improved significantly since the summer of 2015. Although the risk of incidents has decreased, you should keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic in and around Calais, and secure your vehicle when it’s left unattended.

If you’re concerned about the situation in Calais and want to make a donation, you should give to registered, experienced humanitarian charities in order to best help migrants and ensure your own safety. Salam and Auberge des Migrants are long established in Calais and have warehouses for storing and distributing donations in an organised manner.

Robust border security means that anyone who attempts to transport an illegal migrant across the border or travels to France to commit or incite disorder or violence faces a considerable jail term.

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.