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Foreign travel advice

France

Summary

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.

You should be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of the local authorities.

On Friday 13 November 2015, a number of terrorist incidents took place in Paris resulting in widespread casualties. A national state of emergency has been declared for 3 months. See the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

In recent months there has been 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. 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. Violent incidents have occurred between migrant groups, police and a small number of members of the public. Don’t approach the camps or groups of migrants. There have been incidents of items being thrown at vehicles on the approach to Calais Port from the A16. In those circumstances you should keep moving when safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if it’s not safe to proceed. Keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic 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 charity 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 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.

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