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France Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 26, 2023, france - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in France due to  terrorism  and  civil unrest .

Country Summary:  Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Incidents such as pickpocketing and phone snatchings occur frequently and can happen anywhere, especially in crowded areas such as airports, train stations, subway and train cars, and near tourist attractions.

Peaceful demonstrations and strikes in Paris and other cities throughout France occur regularly and can disrupt transportation. On rare occasions, demonstrations have included violence and property damage and police have responded with water cannons and tear gas.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to France.

If you decide to travel to France:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Find a safe location and shelter in place if unable to leave the vicinity of a demonstration.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for France.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel. 
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Travel Advisory Levels

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La Mayenne et le Maine-et-Loire sont placés en vigilance rouge pour risque de crues par les services de Météo France. En savoir plus

COVID-19 : International travel

COVID-19 : Déplacements internationaux

Mobilising on a weekly basis up to 6,000 members of the civil security service to carry out tests, border guards to check travellers’ health documents and internal security forces to oversee the isolation or quarantine measures decreed by the prefects, this mechanism was duly adjusted in response to the changing health conditions and Community regulations.

In light of the latest developments in the pandemic, the port health control system has been discontinued, pursuant to the law terminating the emergency measures instituted to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Accordingly, the rules previously applied to travellers to France no longer apply effective from 1 August 2022:

  • Travellers are now exempt from any formalities prior to entry into France, be it in mainland France or overseas, and no longer required to present a health pass, regardless of the country or place of departure;
  • Justification of travel (the “compelling reason”) is no longer required;
  • Travellers are no longer required to present a sworn statement of non-contamination and an undertaking to undergo an antigen test or screening upon arrival in the country.

The same applies to travel between mainland France and each of the overseas territories. Similarly, the French authorities no longer require any justification for outgoing travel from France, be it from mainland France or overseas, or any exit clearance to travel to another country.

However, foreign countries may continue to apply specific entry measures and formalities.

As of February 16th 2023, all passengers traveling from China are no longer required to present a negative antigen or PCR test result dated less than 48 hours, or a sworn statement. Random screening on arrival is also discontinued.

It is still recommended to wear a single-use surgical mask on board the aircraft.

Passengers from China making a stopover in a different country to reach France are invited to check the conditions applicable to transits.

Click here  to find out more about Overseas Territories Travel.

Entry Requirements for American Travelers to France

Inspiration

ATOUT FRANCE/Franck Charel

Reading time: 0 min Published on 4 January 2023

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

All U.S. and Canadian citizens, including infants, need a valid passport to enter France. Visas are not required for American and Canadian visitors staying in France for up to 90 days. For more information, contact your nearest French Consulate. See a list of local French consulates in the U.S.

It is mandatory in France to carry some form of identification at all times. If you lose your passport, the nearest U.S. Consulate will issue Americans a limited-validity replacement if travel is imminent, or a full-validity passport if further travel is not within two weeks. When in France, please carry a photocopy of your passport separately from your passport. The copy will facilitate issuance of a replacement ($75 fee for adults, $85 for children). The American Embassy in Paris is at 2, avenue Gabriel, tel. 01 43 12 22 22. The Passport Section is nearby at 4, avenue Gabriel (open 9a.m.-noon, Monday- Friday). There are other Consular Offices in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse that provide assistance to American citizens.

Entering France : Travelers from countries outside the European Union (EU) must declare certain articles when entering France. Duty and import taxes are levied on items not for personal use that individually or collectively exceed 175€ in value. Certain categories of items for personal use (tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, coffee and tea, etc.) may be brought in untaxed up to certain authorized amounts. The following are forbidden or subject to strict control: drugs, radioactive materials, firearms, endangered species, plants, ivory and food, meat and dairy products. Carry prescriptions to authenticate any controlled substances. “Monetary instruments” equal to more than 10,000€ (whether brought into or taken out of France) must be declared. When in doubt, consult the French Embassy , a French Consulate or the French Customs and Excise Service's “ Info Douanes Service ” in Paris at tel. 08 20 02 44 44 (8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday)

Re-entering the U.S. : Returning U.S. citizens who have been away for 48 hours or more are allowed to bring back, once every 30 days, $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. You're charged a flat rate of duty on the next $1,000 worth of purchases, and any dollar amount beyond that is subject to duty at whatever rates apply. On mailed gifts, the duty-free limit is $200. Have your receipts or purchases handy to expedite the declaration process. Note: If you owe duty, you are required to pay upon your arrival in the United States, using cash, personal check, government or traveler's check, or money order; some locations also accept Visa or MasterCard.

BRINGING YOUR PETS TO FRANCE

Travelers may bring dogs, cats and ferrets into France. Each family is limited to five animals, which must have valid rabies vaccination certificates and be identifiable by a microchip or tattoo. For more information, including details about travel with pet rodents, reptiles, birds or other species, visit www.ambafrance-us.org or contact the French Embassy.

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France Travel Restrictions

Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status

Traveling from the United States to France

Open for vaccinated visitors

COVID-19 testing

Not required

Not required for vaccinated visitors

Restaurants

Not required in enclosed environments and public transportation.

France entry details and exceptions

Ready to travel, find flights to france, find stays in france, explore more countries on travel restrictions map, destinations you can travel to now, dominican republic, netherlands, philippines, puerto rico, switzerland, united arab emirates, united kingdom, know when to go.

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Can I travel to France from the United States?

Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter France.

Can I travel to France if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter France without restrictions.

Can I travel to France without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter France without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter France?

Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering France.

Can I travel to France without quarantine?

Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in France?

Mask usage in France is not required in enclosed environments and public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in France?

Restaurants in France are open. Bars in France are .

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Everything you need to know about travel to France right now

By Olivia Morelli

People standing outside an airport and sitting on the ground next to their luggage

France has raised its national threat level to its highest degree. The UK government website states that “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France”, and advises those travelling in France currently to “remain vigilant at all times”. We look at how the situation impacts travel and what you can do to stay safe when travelling in France.

What is happening in France right now?

The change in terrorism threat levels comes after a fatal attack in Arras, northern France on Friday 13 October 2023. On Saturday 14 October 2023, the Louvre was evacuated after receiving a written threat , and the Palace of Versailles has been closed twice since Friday 13 October due to security scares. President Emmanuel Macron has increased the national threat level to its highest point, the ‘Emergency Attack Level’, and ordered 7,000 French soldiers to mobilise to further bolster security in public spaces.

How is this situation impacting travel to France?

On Wednesday 18 October 2023, news reports stated that six airports across France had been evacuated as state security received information of bomb threats. According to The Independent , these airports include Lille, Nice, Toulouse, Lyon, Nantes and two terminals at Paris-Beauvais. This has caused delays and cancellations for flights planning to arrive or depart from these airports.

Can I travel to France right now?

The UK government website does not mention avoiding travel to France; however, it advises travellers to remain extremely vigilant when travelling there. Visitors are told to “stay aware of your surroundings, stay away from demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities”. The site claims that “terrorism attacks could be indiscriminate” and could happen “in places frequented by foreign nationals such as shopping centres, entertainment establishments. cultural events, public transport [and] places of worship”. Travellers are advised to “be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of local French authorities”.

What shall I do if I am planning to travel to France, or currently travelling in France?

The UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing unit has collated information and advice on how best to stay safe when travelling abroad and important information on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Advice to consider before you travel includes checking the latest UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice, ensuring you have adequate travel insurance, and knowing the local emergency numbers in your destination (all EU countries can call 112). Read up on further safety tips at counterterrorism.police.uk and gov.uk .

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

France travel advice

Latest updates: Safety and security – added information on legislative elections; removed information on the Commemorative ceremony for the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings

Last updated: June 11, 2024 13:01 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, france - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in France due to the elevated threat of terrorism.

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"Attack emergency" alert

On March 24, 2024, the Prime Minister of France raised the security threat level within the “Vigipirate” plan to “urgence attentat” (“attack emergency”). This is the highest level in the Vigipirate plan, a set of measures to prepare and protect the population and public places. The decision was made following a terrorist attack in Moscow claimed by the Islamic State.

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly alert during public gatherings and demonstrations.

If you are in France:

  • expect enhanced security measures and an increased police presence at the border and in public places
  • monitor local media for the most recent information
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Vigipirate plan – Government of France (in French)

Legislative elections

Legislative elections are scheduled for June 30 and July 7, 2024. Political rallies and demonstrations could occur before, during, and after the elections.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for the latest information

Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Olympic Games will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 28 to September 8, 2024.

Public events will take place across France starting on May 8 and will continue until the opening ceremony.

If you plan to travel to France during this time, plan your travel accordingly.

During the Olympic Games, especially in Paris, you should expect:

  • an increased presence of security forces
  • major disruptions to traffic and movement
  • large crowds and public gatherings

Useful links

  • Games-related information and advice for Canadians
  • Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 – official site

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities.

Over the past few years in France, several opportunistic and premeditated attacks have occurred. These have resulted in many deaths and injuries. Further attacks are likely.

Vigipirate plan

The Vigipirate plan is a set of measures established by the French government to prepare and protect the French population, infrastructure and institutions in the event of an attack. The aim is also to allow rapid deployment of intervention measures if necessary.

As part of this plan, the government maintains a 3-level public alert system for terrorism. Changes in the threat level are communicated online and through local and national media.

Operation sentinelle

Operation Sentinelle allows the deployment of military brigades in public places to patrol and deter terrorist acts. Enhanced security measures have been deployed in various strategic locations, including:

  • transport hubs
  • public places
  • tourist locations, especially in Paris

Expect an increased police or military presence in public places, including some tourist locations, particularly in Paris.

Attacks can occur anywhere. Terrorists may target:

  • government buildings and those of local authorities
  • schools/universities
  • places of worship
  • places dedicated to culture, such as exhibition galleries, museums, concert halls and theatres
  • airports, railway stations and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, monuments, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

While in France:

  • always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
  • be particularly vigilant if attending large gatherings such as sporting events and religious celebrations or other public celebrations
  • Information on the terrorist threat in France - Ministry of the Interior (in French)
  • How to react in case of a terrorist attack - Government of France (in French)
  • Social media accounts of the Ministry of the Interior - Ministry of the Interior (in French)
  • Vigipirate  – General secretary of defense and national security (in French)

Petty crime

Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, and purse and mobile phone snatching are common.

Thieves are very skilled. They often act in groups and are often minors. They may use various techniques to divert your attention and steal your belongings.

Thieves are mainly active in large cities and busy places, such as:

  • the main tourist sites
  • department stores
  • restaurants and patios
  • hotel lobbies
  • public transport, in particular the Paris metro and the Île-de-France regional express network (RER) lines linking the capital to its surroundings

Violent crimes

Violent crimes are rarer, but still occur.

Tourists are sometimes victims of violent attacks by groups of young people who want to rob them. These attacks usually occur :

  • around major tourist attractions
  • near railway stations
  • on trains of the Île-de-France regional express network (RER) connecting the capital to its surroundings

Assaults can also occur outside night-time establishments and in more isolated areas at night.

Residential break-ins

Residential break-ins occur, especially in large cities and coastal areas. Burglars sometimes target houses or holiday rental apartments.

  • be vigilant, particularly when approached by strangers
  • ensure that your belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash
  • limit the use of mobile phones on public transportation and in crowded areas to ensure you remain aware of your surroundings and to avoid attracting attention
  • don’t keep your credit, debit cards and cash in the same place
  • never leave your bags unsupervised
  • choose well-secured accommodation and make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away

Parked vehicles and vehicles on the road

Vehicle break-ins are frequent. Theft of parked cars or their contents is particularly common on beach roads in the south of France and at highway rest stops throughout the country, especially during the summer, when there is a high number of travellers.

  • Leave nothing in view in the vehicle
  • Use secure parking facilities
  • Be particularly vigilant when renting automobiles, as rented vehicles are a target of choice

Drivers are often tricked into stopping their cars by thieves who either obstruct the road or distract the driver by flashing their headlights. They may also pretend that you have a flat tire or even puncture a tire themselves. Once the vehicle is stopped, the thieves seize the opportunity to steal a bag or other valuable objects.

  • Beware of any person who waves at you to stop on the highway
  • Be especially vigilant when stopped at traffic lights, as bags are often snatched from the front passenger seat by thieves travelling on scooters
  • Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times

Victims of crime

If you’re a victim of theft, go to the nearest police station to report the crime. Keep a copy of your theft report, as you will need it if you wish to make a claim to your insurer. If the incident takes place in the metro, a metro officer can direct you to the nearest police station.

You can complete an online pre-complaint for certain types of minor crime, such as property theft, before going to the police station. This may speed up the process once you get there.

  • Prevention advice for tourists - Préfecture de police de Paris
  • Online pre-complaint - Ministry of the Interior (in French)

Bomb threats

Since October 2023, there have been a number of bomb threats sent to public places across France.

Bomb threats and hoaxes can target any location, including:

  • tourist areas
  • shopping centres
  • transportation hubs
  • government facilities
  • religious institutions

If you are in an area targeted by a bomb threat, follow the instructions of local authorities including evacuation orders.

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs.

When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention if other people are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transaction on your account statements

Cybercrime occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.

  • Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
  • Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
  • Be cautious when posting information on social media
  • Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the internet

Overseas fraud

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur frequently. They are usually planned as permission from the local authorities is required. However, unauthorized and spontaneous demonstrations also take place.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

Radical activists and vandals have a history of using aggressive and violent tactics during demonstrations in order to cause damage and provoke a strong response from the police. They sometimes throw stones, smoke grenades, bottles and other debris at rallies. The police normally respond with tear gas to disperse the crowds.

  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Strikes and pressure tactics occur regularly, particularly in key sectors such as transport. These strikes can sometimes complicate travel and disrupt public services.

  • Consult local media to be aware of strikes that may affect your stay or travel plans
  • In the event of a transport strike, plan extra time to get to your destination

Swimming, boating and water safety

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Always obey warning flags at beaches.

The main warning flags used in France are:

  • Green: calm waters, swimming is allowed
  • Yellow: agitated waters, swim with precautions
  • Red: dangerous waters, swimming is prohibited
  • Purple: contaminated waters or presence of dangerous aquatic species, swimming is prohibited

In autumn and winter, be cautious when walking on the shore, as waves can be unpredictable, breaking further than expected and causing strong undertows.

  • Avoid visiting beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
  • Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion and falling rocks
  • Don’t dive into unknown waters, as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
  • Exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities

Recreational boating

If you are planning to go boating:

  • know the capacity of your boat (people and weight) and don’t exceed it
  • know the navigation rules
  • follow safe practices for all activities on the water: personal watercraft, water-skiing and towed devices, diving or swimming, fishing, etc.
  • equip your boat with a VHF marine radio that will generate your position in case of emergency
  • be prepared for emergencies

Search and rescue missions in France are carried out by the Regional Operational Surveillance and Rescue Centres (CROSS). In case of emergency, contact the centre on VHF radio channel 16 or by dialling 196.

  • Surveillance and rescue at sea - Ministry of the Sea (in French)
  • Water safety abroad

Mountain activities

Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well prepared. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.

In winter, heavy snowfall can make it difficult to reach some villages and ski centres. Roads may become impassable. There is also a risk of avalanches, some of which can be fatal.

If you intend to go hiking, mountaineering or skiing:

  • never do so alone and do not part with your hiking companions
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • do not venture off marked trails or slopes
  • ensure that you’re adequately equipped
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be doing it before setting out
  • Information on mountain conditions - Association nationale pour l'étude de la neige et des avalanches (ANENA) (in French)
  • Specialised mountain units - Gendarmerie nationale (in French)
  • Avalanche forecasts and warnings - European Avalanche Warning Service (EAWS)

Road safety

French roads are well maintained.

Drive carefully and respect the Highway Code.

Public transportation

Urban and intercity public transportation is reliable. When using these types of transport, make sure you validate your ticket and keep it until the end of your journey. The authorities carry out regular random checks and you may be fined if you do not have a validated ticket.

There is a problem of illegal taxis in Paris airports and train stations. These scammers charge much higher rates than the official ones.

  • Ignore direct solicitations when leaving the airport or train station
  • Use only official taxis or a trusted ride-sharing app
  • Don’t share a taxi with strangers

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

  • Schengen area

France is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.

If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada

Temporary border controls

The French government has reintroduced internal border controls at certain ports of entry. You may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering France, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period Long-stay or residency visa: required for stays longer than 90 days Work permit: required Student visa: required for stays longer than 90 days

More information on Visas - Government of France

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.

  • Children and travel

To leave France, any child under the age of 18 who normally resides in France must be accompanied by at least one parent. Children travelling without at least one parent must be in possession of:

  • an authorization to leave the country signed by one of the parents
  • a photocopy of the signing parent’s identification
  • More information on the authorization to leave the country - French administration services
  • More about travelling with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics – France - 6 June, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites . The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

  • In this country, risk of  dengue  is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Health care is excellent and available throughout the country. Up-front payment may be required.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and France are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and France authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Identity checks

You may be subject to identity checks during your stay in France.

Always carry valid identification such as a driver's licence, passport or a copy of it.

Keep photocopies or digital copies of the following documents, in case of loss or seizure:

  • the identification page of your passport
  • your birth certificate
  • your Canadian citizenship card
  • your driver’s licence

Keep originals and copies in separate safe locations.

Concealing your face in public places

In France, it’s illegal to cover your face in public places, including international airport arrivals areas.

Offenders risk a very high fine. There is no exemption for tourists or for religious reasons.

  • Identity checks - French administration services
  • Concealment of the face in public places - French administration services

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and France.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in France, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the French court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in France to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • The Hague Convention – Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in France.

You should carry an International Driving Permit. You can drive with your Canadian licence for up to 1 year. If you stay in France, you will have to exchange your Canadian licence for a French licence.

Numerous roadside cameras have been installed to help enforce traffic regulations. You could receive heavy fines if you do not obey the speed limit or the Highway Code. Local authorities may also confiscate your driver’s licence.

Fines must generally be paid within 3 days. They may be increased in case of delay of payment.

A reflective vest and warning triangle are mandatory in all vehicles.

From November 1 to March 31, winter tires or chains are compulsory in some cities and regions in mountainous areas.

Priority to the right

The “priority to the right” system is in effect in France. Drivers must give way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections, even on secondary roads. This is often a surprise to foreign drivers and results in accidents.

In general, traffic in a roundabout has priority over vehicles trying to enter it. Priority switches to vehicles from the left.

Low-emission zones

Some cities and territories have put in place low emission zones to reduce air pollution.

Access to these zones is restricted to vehicles that meet certain environmental standards. You may need to get a permit to drive in these areas.

  • More information about road travel in France - European Commission
  • Obligations to equip vehicles in winter - French administration services (in French)
  • Air quality certificates: Crit'Air - Ministry of Ecological Transition (in French)

The currency of France is the euro (EUR).

If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:

  • banknotes and coins
  • bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
  • bonds, shares
  • gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
  • gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
  • any other convertible asset

This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.

EU cash controls - European Commission

There is a risk of avalanches in mountainous areas, which can cause fatal accidents. If you intend to ski or climb, find out about the weather and safety conditions and follow the advice given.

  • Familiarise yourself with the avalanche risk levels - French administration services

There is a risk of seasonal flooding, particularly in areas along major rivers and streams. Flooding can hamper overland travel and the provision of essential services.

The French government has a flood forecasting service called Vigicrues.

  • Exercise caution
  • Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts

Flooding risk - Vigicrues

Forest and maquis fires

Forest and maquis fires often occur in summer, particularly on the Mediterranean coast and in Corsica.

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

There is a ban on smoking in woods and forests during high forest fire risk periods as defined by the prefecture. This ban applies equally to areas situated within 200m of wooded areas.

In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

  Forest weather – Météo France (in French)

Local services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Dial 17 to connect to the police.

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, La Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

South Region

Région Occitanie

Rhône-Alpes Region

American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna

Consular assistance - France

Please call the consulates before visiting them.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to France, in Paris, and follow the instructions

Consular assistance - Wallis and Futuna

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada to New Zealand, in Wellington, and follow the instructions.

At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Here's What It's Like to Travel to France Right Now

Entry requirements, crowd reports, and more

Astrid was the Senior Special Projects Editor at TripSavvy.

home office travel advice france

Entry Requirements

Digital health pass mandates, curfews and restrictions, mask enforcement, crowds and feeling on the ground, return process.

After France reopened their borders to international tourists on June 9, many travelers' long-awaited dream of a French summer getaway finally became tangible. And with this month's reopening of the Eiffel Tower, Paris seemed back in business.

Eager to finally dust off my passport and head back to one of my favorite cities in the world, I hopped on low-cost long-haul airline French Bee's inaugural flight from Newark to Paris last week and spent a few days in the City of Lights to really get a feel for how its reopening was going. Here are a few things I found helpful to know if you're planning a trip.

France is currently operating on a "stoplight system" for visitors who enter, with green, orange, and red tiers representing the risk level of different countries. Those coming from green countries can enter without restriction if vaccinated or by presenting a negative PCR or rapid test taken within 72 hours before departure. The United States has been on the green list since June 18, which meant all I needed to enter was my vaccine card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. French Bee also provided me with a health statement that I was told to sign and present at check-in, but it was never collected. This requirement may vary depending on your airline.

Arrive at the airport early—you'll be asked to present your vaccine card or test results before you're allowed to check in to your flight. You'll also be asked to present these documents before getting your passport stamped upon arrival in France, along with a COVID-19 contact tracing form that will be given to you upon landing.

I only experienced being asked to show a health pass once, when I went out to a nightclub on a Friday night. Unaware that French nightclubs require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 to enter, I mistakenly left my CDC card back at my hotel. Pleading with the club bouncer in very broken French, a thought occurred to me during a final moment of desperation, and I whipped out my phone to show him the Instagram post I made—in which I censored any personal information, natch—back when I received my second dose of the vaccine in late March.

"This will never work," I thought to myself. "I'll just come back tomorrow night."

Et voila! It worked!

Was it a lucky break? Perhaps. But I don't recommend doing the same. If you're planning on hitting a club, make sure to bring your CDC card and some form of identification so that they can match your name to your vaccination status. French citizens are already using a national health pass, but until stricter mandates begin next week (more on that below), your CDC card will suffice as an American tourist. Be aware that masks are optional in indoor clubs: I did not spot any worn by the revelers at Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine that evening.

About those new mandates: although I didn't experience them while I was there, French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced that in response to the Delta variant , proof of vaccination via a digital French health pass would be required for a larger list of places beginning Aug. 1. While still valid proof of vaccination, the CDC vaccine card will not be accepted as a substitution for the health pass. American travelers with a CDC card will need to bring their card with them to France, where they can have it uploaded into the app by “any willing French doctor or pharmacist (who) can enter the vaccination information in the French system, even for people who do not have a French social security number or carte vitale.”

Bar and nightclub curfews were lifted in France on June 30, along with restrictions on the number of people gathering indoors—perfect when summer nights in Paris aren't met with sunset before 10 p.m. But if you're planning on a nightcap back at your hotel after dinner, make sure to be stocked up beforehand: alcohol is still not permitted to be sold at stores after 10 p.m.

Masks were required indoors at every indoor venue I entered, including shops, cafes, and restaurants. In restaurants, most locals aren’t wearing masks once seated. Paris is particularly strict about masks being worn on the Metro, with announcements being played on a loop that anyone caught without wearing one will be fined 135 euros. On one trip, I witnessed a Parisian confront an American tourist who was wearing his mask below his nose. "I'm not vaccinated yet," the Parisian told him, "so please pull your mask up."

Astrid Taran / TripSavvy

There's no denying it: because of the entry restrictions still imposed on countries not on France's green list, the city's usual summer crowds were nowhere to be found. The line at the CityPharma pharmacy in Saint-Germain-des-Prés—the best place in the city to pick up French beauty products at lower prices than you can find in the U.S.—was non-existent. I was able to snap up a ticket to the Paris Catacombs just by walking up to the counter, and inside, only one other small family joined me. Spooky—in a good way. I still needed bookings to get a seat at some of the hottest tables in town, but surprisingly, I was even able to snag last-minute cancellations at favorites like Le Chardenoux and Le Saint Sebastian . Except for being in Paris on the afternoon of the Tour de France, it certainly didn't feel like I was in Europe during the peak summer travel season.

One very noticeable element of my trip was the sheer amount of American accents I heard. I sat next to an American couple at dinner at Le Fouquet's and overheard many of my fellow countrymen and women speaking to each other in English on the streets and in cafes. The usual British accents from tourists hopping over to Paris from the United Kingdom were nowhere to be found due to the U.K.'s current status on France's orange list. The only other non-French accents I heard during my stay were German tourists, who have also begun trickling into the country for the summer holiday.

Additionally, I found French hospitality towards American visitors to be overwhelmingly warm. "We're happy to have visitors back in Paris," one waitress at a cafe told me with a smile. When learning that I'm from New York, several Parisians expressed frustration at the lack of travel reciprocity from the U.S., as French citizens are still not permitted to enter the country.

Perhaps the only stressful part of my visit to Paris was my return home. All U.S. citizens must present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight back; similar to presenting your vaccination status or test results before boarding your flight to France, you won't be able to check in to your flight home without having these results in hand. At Paris-Orly, I initially found it difficult to find the COVID-19 testing site, and once there, the instructions on the kiosk were difficult to understand for a non-French speaker.

The worst part? These tests are free for French citizens, but as of July 7, tourists must cough up a whopping 49 euro for a PCR test and 29 euro for a rapid antigen test. I was charged for both of them.

After about an hour of sweating, I received my test results, which were entirely in French. The kind gate attendant helped me translate the instructions to access them, and I was finally allowed to check in to my flight home.

I was sad to go—my Parisian getaway was magical on every level. The city appeared to be taking all of the correct precautions while easing restrictions enough to really feel like itself again. With perfect summer weather and a lack of the usual throngs of tourists, Paris feels more authentic and charming than ever before.

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International travel - Press release from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (30 January 2021)

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Following the measures announced by the government on 29 January 2021:

Travellers to or from a destination outside the European space

As of Sunday, 31 January 2021, all travel to France or from France to any country outside the European space (European Union Member States, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) will be denied, with the exception of travel for imperative personal or family reasons, emergency medical treatment or professional trips that cannot be postponed.

If your travel falls within one of these exceptions, a sworn declaration can be downloaded on the Ministry of the Interior’s website .

It must be presented upon boarding to the transport company and accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents.

Travellers arriving from and travelling to a country in the European space

All travellers, irrespective of their means of transport (by air, sea or land), aged 11 years and over and who wish to enter France from a country in the European space (European Union, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) must present the results of a virology test (RT-PCR) taken within 72 hours prior to departure and that does not identify COVID-19 contamination. Hauliers, cross-border workers and residents living within a 30-kilometre radius of a border area are exempt from this obligation.

Upon arrival in France, it is highly recommended to self-isolate for seven days, and submit to a second virology RT-PCR test at the end of the seven-day period.

XiTi

Foreign Office issues new advice for UK travellers to France amid ongoing riots

The latest advice for travellers from the UK to France is to "avoid areas where riots are taking place" and check their travel insurance "provides sufficient cover".

Saturday 1 July 2023 12:31, UK

Protesters block a street with garbage cans in Colombes, outside Paris, France, Saturday, July 1, 2023. French President Emmanuel Macron urged parents Friday to keep teenagers at home and proposed restrictions on social media to quell rioting spreading across France over the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old driver. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

UK travellers to France have been warned to be aware of the ongoing riots after a 17-year-old was fatally shot by police.

The Foreign Office has issued new travel advice which warns of potential disruption and urges people to be aware of the ongoing situation.

President Emmanuel Macron has not declared a state of emergency in the country but riots have spread across the country after a teenager named as Nahel M was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

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home office travel advice france

The updated advice which follows four consecutive nights of rioting states "there may be disruptions to travel and local transport provision may be reduced".

"Some local authorities may impose curfews. Locations and timing of riots are unpredictable," it adds.

"You should monitor the media, avoid areas where riots are taking place, check the latest advice with operators when travelling and follow the advice of the authorities."

home office travel advice france

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A rally by groups opposed to the Iranian government due to take place on Saturday has been banned by French authorities due to concerns about security risks.

The Foreign Office says connected events are reported to still be going ahead and they are urging British nationals to "reconsider any plans to attend such meetings".

If people do attend, they should "be aware of [their] surroundings at all time, and move away quickly from disturbances".

The advice for travellers also states it is "more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover".

home office travel advice france

Read more: Mbappe calls for calm amid France riots Eyewitness: Another night of looting and lawlessness

Around 17 million British nationals visit France each year, according to the Foreign Office.

The burial of the 17-year-old is scheduled for Saturday.

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Foreign Office issues France travel warning lasting three months

Foreign Office issues France travel warning lasting three months

The uk government has updated its official travel advice for those heading to france.

Tom Earnshaw

Tom Earnshaw

The United Kingdom's official travel advice for those heading to France has been updated with a fresh warning to those flying across the English Channel.

Every now and then, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updates the UK's official travel advice for every country in the world .

Little bits can be updated for any one of the world's 194 other countries at any point, with matters concerning the likes of warnings and insurance and specific requirements to enter a country.

There's also the latest information issued when it comes to safety and security of British nationals across the world, with warnings issued if Brits would be likely to be a target.

Health matters and risks are also highlighted by the Foreign Office , as well as the latest information on what you can do to get help if you're already abroad and need assistance.

Airports in France could be impacted. (Getty Stock Images)

The update concerning France was issued by the Foreign Office on Friday (7 June) and lasts for the entirety of June with some issues expected to last up until September.

Basically, it could be potential bad news if you're heading to the country and that's because of continuous strike action in the country; specifically at French airports and ports.

"Throughout June, planned industrial action by port worker and air traffic control unions is expected to disrupt some ferry routes and flights across France, with some routes and flights diverted or cancelled," the Foreign Office says.

Brits travelling to France have been warned (Getty Stock Images)

"Check your operator’s advice before travelling, including where you are taking connecting flights.

"Until September, possible industrial action may cause disruption on the Paris public transport system (RATP). Check the RATP website for live service updates."

The issue has had real world impacts already this month, with Ryanair having to cancel 100 flights in and out of Paris Beauvais Airport, which lies roughly 46 miles north of the city centre.

Some of the issues in France are expected to last until September (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

The company said on its website: “Since 2023, there has been 84 days of French ATC [air traffic control] strikes forcing airlines to cancel thousands of EU overflights from Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the UK, while France in particular uses minimum service laws to protect French flights.

“This is unfair. France and all other EU states should protect overflights during ATC strikes as they do in Spain, Italy, and Greece.”

As always, check the status of your flight before travelling just incase.

Topics:  Europe , Health , Travel , UK News

Tom joined LADbible in 2024, specialising in SEO and trending content. He moved to the company from Reach plc where he enjoyed spells as a content editor and senior reporter for one of the country's most-read local news brands, LancsLive. When he's not in work, Tom spends his adult life as a suffering Manchester United supporter after a childhood filled with trebles and Premier League titles. You can't have it all forever, I suppose.

@ TREarnshaw

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Here's what you need to know about visas when visiting France

May 9, 2023 • 4 min read

Young black woman walking in Paris near Notre Dame cathedral.

Here's everything you need to know about visas for visiting France © LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

A trip to France is one of the world’s most sought-after travel experiences.

Whether you need a visa will depend on your individual circumstances, such as your citizenship, your reasons for travel, and how long you plan to stay. Still, all visitors should be up to speed with the entry and exit procedures. Here's our guide to help you on your way.

What you need to know about visas for France

France is part of the  Schengen area , a bloc of 27 European countries that have abolished internal border controls. As a result, citizens of Schengen member countries (including non-EU countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) and Ireland (a member of the EU but not Schengen) can enter France with just a passport or national ID card ( carte d'identité in French) for an indefinite stay.

What about non-EU nationals?

To enter France, nationals of countries outside the EU and Schengen Area will need a passport valid for at least three months after their intended date of departure, along with proof of insurance, evidence of an onward travel ticket and accommodation (or sufficient funds to pay for these), and a visa if required.

Check the French government’s France-Visas website for full details of the information you’ll need to present on arrival in France . The site also has a handy  Visa Wizard to help you find out if you need a visa and details of how to apply. France has a well-deserved reputation for red tape, so make sure all your documents are in order.

Passengers and trains at Lyon's busy railway station

Many nationalities can visit France visa-free

Citizens of around 60 non-EU countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and many Latin American countries, don’t need a visa for a short stay in France.

Nationals of visa-free countries can normally stay for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. Once you leave, you can’t re-enter the Schengen Zone for a further 90 days (you can estimate dates on the EU’s travel day calculator ).

Some countries have special bilateral visa waiver agreements that allow visitors to spend time in one Schengen country without reference to time spent in other countries in the Schengen Area, subject to permission from border officials; check your home country’s government travel advice.

There are some changes ahead

The EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES) , which has suffered some delays but is due to be operational by the end of 2023, will beef up security at external EU borders by electronically monitoring border crossings, making it easier to identify anyone overstaying.

The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will come into operation in 2024. Under the new rules, nationals from visa-free countries will need to apply for pre-travel authorization online (arrange it 72 hours ahead of travel). The cost is €7 for a three-year, multi-entry authorization (there's no charge for travelers under 18 and over 70).

Non-EU nationals will need to apply for a Schengen visa

Nationals of non-visa-free countries, including China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa, need a Schengen Visa to visit France and other member countries. A short-stay Uniform Schengen Visa allows visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period and is valid for travel throughout the Schengen area. The cost is €80 for adults and €40 for children aged six to 12 (free for children under six).

Visit the French government’s website France-Visas for the latest regulations and information on the process for applying. Find your closest French embassy or consulate on the  Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs - France Diplomatie website.

Young man photographing French breakfast with croissants on the table in sidewalk cafe in Paris, France

Tourist visas can't be extended within France

When your visa expires, you'll need to reapply from outside France to spend more time in the country. It’s not possible to extend tourist visas within France, except in emergencies (for example, a medical emergency), in which case you should contact your nearest Préfecture .

Student visas are available

Tourist visas cannot be changed into student visas after arrival, but students sitting university-entrance exams or attending interviews in France can apply in advance for a special short-term étudiant concours (literally, "student-in-competition") visa. Details are listed on the French government website Campus France .

Working holiday visas in France are valid for a year

If you’re from a country with a working holiday visa agreement with France and are aged between 18 and 30 (or 35 if you're from Canada), you may be eligible to apply for the programme vacances-travail (PVT) scheme through the French embassy or consulate in your home country. The scheme allows participants to live and work in France for 12 months. Currently, France has arrangements with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Taiwan, and Uruguay.

This article was first published May 6, 2021 and updated May 9, 2023.

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home office travel advice france

Latest Foreign Office travel advice for France, Spain, Turkey and Italy

T he Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), provides information and guidance about risks of travel to any of 226 nations and territories in a bid to help people make informed decisions and stay safe.

The Government department's updates can include things like security risks, passport and visa requirements, and health warnings, and it is important to be aware of the latest guidance.

Ahead of what is likely to be a very busy year for international travel, we have taken a look at all the latest travel advice for France, Spain, and other destinations that are popular with UK travellers.

READ MORE: When Manchester Airport will scrap 100ml liquids rule for hand luggage

READ MORE: UK tourists with holidays to Spain and Turkey warned of April deadline

While there are no enforced covid requirements in France at the moment, Gov.UK guidance states: "You’re strongly recommended to wear a face mask in health settings. In some areas, people aged 6 and above may need to wear a face mask."

As with all EU countries, your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country - so you should check the "date of issue" - and be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (check the "expiry date").

If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

On arrival in France you may need to show border control staff proof of where you intend to stay, for example a hotel booking, as well as proof of travel insurance, a return or onward ticket, and proof you have enough money for your whole stay.

You can travel to countries in the Schengen area, which France is part of, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

You cannot take food items such as meat and dairy to France from the UK, though there are some medical exceptions which include certain amounts of powdered infant milk and infant food. You can find out more about this here.

The FCDO says terrorists are "very likely" to carry out attacks in France and advises UK travellers to be vigilant at all times. It adds that attacks could take place in areas such as shopping centres, entertainment establishments, on public transport, and at places of worship.

Foreign Office advice also warns there can be "frequent industrial action across France", which can lead to delays and disruption especially on public transport. It adds: "If you’re due to travel to or within France, monitor the media, check your operator’s advice and follow the advice of the authorities."

A further warning reads: "Thieves and pickpockets operate on the Paris underground, RER lines and at mainline stations" while people with a British driving licence who plan on driving while in France are reminded: "You may need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK.

"These have replaced GB stickers. Check the guidance on displaying number plates if you are driving outside the UK."

There are currently no covid rules for Spain, according to the FCDO, and as with France your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country, and be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

You can travel to countries in the Schengen area, which Spain is part of, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you need to meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements.

Border control staff may ask for proof you have enough money for your stay and confirmation of your accommodation - which may be a hotel booking, or a carta de invitation completed by your hosts.

People planning to travel between Spain and Gibraltar are warned over delays due to border checks, with FCDO advice adding: "There is no charge to enter or leave Gibraltar. You should not hand over money to anybody claiming there is a charge."

You cannot take food items such as meat and dairy to Spain from the UK, though there are some medical exceptions which include certain amounts of powdered infant milk and infant food. You can find out more about this here.

The FCDO says terrorists are "likely" to carry out attacks in Spain and advises UK travellers to "stay aware of your surroundings" at all times. Of Spain's "political situation", the government department adds: "Demonstrations, political gatherings or marches can take place with little or no warning, particularly in cities. Follow the advice of police and local authorities.

"While most demonstrations are peaceful, there is a risk of unrest or violence. If you’re in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, be aware of what is happening around you and move away if there are signs of disorder."

Travellers are also advised to protect their belongings and "be alert to street crime" although "most visits to Spain are trouble-free". Advice states: "Take care of your passports, money and personal belongings" and suggests people keep a photocopy or scanned copy of their passports in a safe place.

When it comes to alcohol, UK travellers are reminded: "You cannot drink alcohol in the street in some areas of Spain. You can be given an on-the-spot fine.

"There are strict controls on drinking and sexual activity in public places, including on beaches."

Local laws limit the sale and availability of alcohol in areas of some resorts on the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, prohibiting drink promotions such as happy hours, open bars, and off licence sales between 9.30pm and 8am.

Hotels and other establishments are obliged to evict customers who behave dangerously on balconies. Both the customer and the establishment can be fined for such behaviour.

People planning on driving while in Spain are reminded: "You may need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. These have replaced GB stickers. Check the guidance on displaying number plates if you are driving outside the UK."

The FCDO advises against travel within 10km of Turkey's border with Syria, and against all but essential travel to Sirnak and Hakkari province.

If you are visiting Turkey, your passport must be valid for at least 150 days from the date you arrive and have a full blank page for entry and exit stamps. You only need a visa if you plan on staying longer than 90 days in any 180-day period.

The FCDO says terrorists are "very likely" to carry out attacks in Turkey and advises UK travellers to be vigilant at all times. It adds that attacks could take place in areas such as shopping centres, entertainment establishments, on public transport, and at places of worship.

Of the nation's "political situation", it adds: "Occasional demonstrations can occur in cities and may become violent. Police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protests.

"Occasional demonstrations can occur in cities and may become violent. Police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protests."

It also warns that "street robbery and pick-pocketing are common in the major tourist areas of Istanbul", and advises people always make sure their personal items are secure.

The FCDO says that 42 cases of sexual assault were reported to British consular staff in Turkey in 2023, adding: "Most sexual assault cases reported to British consular staff in Turkey have happened during summer holidays in coastal tourist areas.

"Many were committed at night by someone the victim met during the day, including hotel workers. There have also been sexual attacks on minors visiting toilet facilities alone. Be extra vigilant in these situations."

A stray dog warning is listed for Turkey, as packs "congregate and can be aggressive". People are advised to take care and not to approach any dogs.

Guidance adds: "If you’re bitten, get medical advice immediately. Rabies and other animal borne diseases are present in Turkey."

You must carry a green card if you plan to drive while in Turkey. More information can be found here.

There are no covid requirements for Italy however if you are visiting a hospital intensive care ward or a car home, you must wear a FFP2 mask.

As with travel to all other EU nations, your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country, and be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

You can travel to countries in the Schengen area, which Italy is part of, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you need to meet the Italian government’s entry requirements.

Border control staff may ask for proof you have enough money for your stay and confirmation of your accommodation, as well as proof of travel insurance and a return or onward ticket.

You cannot take food items such as meat and dairy to Italy from the UK, though there are some medical exceptions which include certain amounts of powdered infant milk and infant food. You can find out more about this here.

The FCDO says terror attacks in Italy "cannot be ruled out" and advises UK travellers to "remain vigilant at all times." Of Italy's "political situation", the government department adds: "Demonstrations may occur with little or no warning in cities. Avoid any protests, political gatherings, or marches."

People are advised that crime levels are "generally low" but that petty crime such as bag snatching and pickpocketing is more common in big cities such as Rome and Milan.

It adds: "Robberies from parked cars have been reported, in Rome, particularly the Colosseum area, Ostia, Milan and Pisa. Coastal areas and towns have been targeted as well as motorway service stations. Always lock your vehicle, never leave valuables in cars and avoid leaving luggage in cars for any length of time."

The government department also warns travellers that some Italian towns and cities have specific local laws. These may see you fined for actions such as dropping litter, sitting on monument steps, and eating or drinking next to churches or other historic buildings.

Gov.uk advice adds: "It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains in many towns and cities, including Florence and Rome. A fine of up to 10,000 euros can be imposed for urinating in a public place."

You must also not take any disposable plastic items, such as bags, cups or places, onto the island of Capri. If you are caught doing so you can be fined up to 500 euros.

People should also only use licensed taxi drivers, the FCDO has said, and that these "should be called or taken from an official rank rather than hailed in the street".

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Millions of people travel to France and Spain from the UK each year

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  1. France travel advice

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    Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed. Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.. Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France.Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of ...

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    COVID-19 : International travel. Mobilising on a weekly basis up to 6,000 members of the civil security service to carry out tests, border guards to check travellers' health documents and internal security forces to oversee the isolation or quarantine measures decreed by the prefects, this mechanism was duly adjusted in response to the ...

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    people with compelling family reasons (travel justified for the purpose of transferring custody of or having access or staying access to a child; continued schooling; urgent assistance to a loved one; the funeral of a close relative); people allowed to enter France for economic reasons if they are staying for less than five days.

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    For travel to and from those countries, other restrictions on movement remain in force: among other things, it is of course still necessary to present a negative PCR test result less than 72 hours before departure. You are particularly advised to check the travel advice website and strongly advised to limit international travel as much as possible.

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    When in France, please carry a photocopy of your passport separately from your passport. The copy will facilitate issuance of a replacement ($75 fee for adults, $85 for children). The American Embassy in Paris is at 2, avenue Gabriel, tel. 01 43 12 22 22. The Passport Section is nearby at 4, avenue Gabriel (open 9a.m.-noon, Monday- Friday).

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    Advice to consider before you travel includes checking the latest UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice, ensuring you have adequate travel insurance, and knowing the local emergency numbers in your destination (all EU countries can call 112). Read up on further safety tips at counterterrorism.police.uk and gov.uk.

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    Following the measures announced by the government on 29 January 2021: Travellers to or from a destination outside the European space. As of Sunday, 31 January 2021, all travel to France or from France to any country outside the European space (European Union Member States, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) will be denied, with the ...

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    T he Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), provides information and guidance about risks of travel to any of 226 nations and territories in a bid to help people make informed ...