Foreign travel advice

France

Summary

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

The airline and tour operator Monarch went into administration on 2 October 2017. The repatriation flights for non-ATOL protected passengers have now ceased. You can find information and advice on flights, accommodation and reimbursement for expenses incurred on the dedicated website, or by calling the hotline on 0300 303 2800 (if calling from the UK) or +44 1753 330 330 (if calling from outside the UK).

If you need consular assistance above and beyond information on replacement flights or accommodation, please contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

The French overseas collectivity of St Martin was severely affected by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. For advice and links to more information, see our travel advice for St Maarten (the Dutch part of the island) and this page for the UK government response to Hurricane Irma and advice for affected British nationals.

If you’re crossing the Channel, 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.

There remain some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. There are some reports of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if isn’t safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France. 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.

The French government has extended the national state of emergency until 1 November 2017. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

The French government has launched a free smartphone app to alert users about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks. Users will be able to view alerts for up to eight geographical areas. The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), is available in English and French. You can download the app by entering the term ‘SAIP’ in the Apple App store or Google Play.

All vehicles, including motorbikes, driving in central Paris, Lyon and Grenoble now need to display a special ‘pollution sticker’. You must display a sticker to drive in central Paris from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday. In Lyon and Grenoble the requirement to display a sticker can be implemented at any time, depending on pollution levels. Some older vehicles don’t qualify for a sticker at all due to their high emissions; these vehicles can’t be driven in central Paris at all from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday. For more information, and to apply for a sticker, visit the French Ministry of Environment website (in English).

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

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

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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.

The Emergency phone number in France is 112. If you need to contact other emergency services call 15 (medical), 17 (police) or 18 (fire).