Is it safe to travel to France right now and will the protests affect my trip?



Is it safe to travel to France right now and will the protests affect my trip?

The security situation in France during the protests has made travelers hesitant to visit the country. Find out if it's safe to travel to France and whether the protests will affect your trip

Order an international health insurance policy for your safety and peaceful stay in any country
Order an international health insurance policy for your safety and peaceful stay in any country

Last week, a wave of protests swept through Paris and other major French cities. The confrontation between protesters and police led to curfews in some cities and disruptions in transportation. 

At the same time, summer is the peak tourist season in France. Most travelers visit the country during the warmer months. The two-week Tour de France, the world's most popular sporting event, is about to start, with fans from many countries around the world. The tensions scared tourists who were planning to spend their summer vacation in France.  

What is the reason for the protests? How do they affect tourism in France? Should you cancel your trip to France? Let's find out further. 

Find out which countries are the most dangerous in Europe here.

Where to stay in Paris: the best neighborhoods and prices.

Why is France shaken by a wave of protests?

The reason for the mass protests in France was the death of a teenager of Algerian descent named Nahel Merzouk. He was shot dead by the police, which is confirmed by the fact that this incident was filmed on video. The incident caused a wave of anger over racial inequality in France and accusations of police discrimination.

The confrontation between police and protesters began on the night of June 27 in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, where Merzouk was shot, and since then has spread to other cities in France. 

The protesters burned houses and cars and broke windows in shops. 

Police reported that at least 2000 people, many of them minors, were detained during the riots. 45,000 police officers and gendarmes were deployed on the streets of France to try to keep the protesters at bay.  

Currently, French officials say that only 157 people have been arrested and the situation has become much calmer: on Sunday evening, the protests began to gradually subside, and arrests also decreased. 

What cities in France did the protests take place in?

The protests began in Nantes, a suburb of northwestern Paris. Then they spread to other small towns around the French capital: Bezons, Gennevilliers, Garges-les-Gonesses, Agnères-sur-Seine, Montreuil, Neuilly-sur-Marne, Clamart and Medon. Trappes, Clery, Guiancourt and Vignes-sur-Seine were also affected.

All of these settlements are located outside the Periphery ring road, which surrounds the central areas of Paris, where the main attractions are located. 

The police also protect the peace of the main tourist cities of France - Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille, etc. 

When traveling abroad, take out travel insurance, as this is the key to a safe and secure vacation.   

Curfew in France

Curfews were introduced in two cities near Paris: Clamare and Neuilly-sur-Marne, which became the center of protests in France. Restrictions were imposed for only a few days on the first weekend of July. The curfew has now been lifted in France. 

How has the transportation system been affected?

The transportation system has been severely affected by the protests. On Friday, June 30, France suspended all bus and tram services across the country until 21:00. This was due to the violence directed at the transportation infrastructure. In particular, a tram was set on fire in Clamart, one of the most affected cities. In the Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers, several buses were set on fire.

The train station in Nanterre prefecture was also closed. In Lille, buses and trams stopped running after 20:00 on Thursday. In the southern city of Marseille, public transport was to stop running at 19:00. 

There is currently no information on disruptions in French transportation. Further changes in the schedule of public transport in France should be monitored on the websites of the companies.

Is it safe to visit France?

The death of the teenager provoked massive protests in France, which spread to certain parts of the country, but in most of France, life goes on as usual. The central districts of Paris, where the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are located, were hardly affected. Similarly, the tourist season continues in rural and coastal areas that receive the largest number of tourists.

How have authorities around the world reacted to the protests in France?

Most diplomatic missions are advising their citizens to monitor the situation, but no one has advised against traveling to France at all. 

The US State Department is asking its tourists to stay away from the protest areas as much as possible. Before traveling, you should find out about possible curfews in the city of your stay. As always, you should keep your friends and family informed of your whereabouts. It is also important to pay attention to changes in public transportation. 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned its citizens in France to be vigilant in public transport, as the windows of a bus with Chinese tourists in France were broken, and some tourists suffered minor injuries. However, the authorities did not say when or where the incident occurred. 

The UK Foreign Office also issued a warning, but emphasized that most visits to France have been without incident.

We hope that the situation in France will stabilize in the coming days, but if your rights have been violated during your stay in France, please seek the advice of a highly qualified lawyer.  

You can find the rules for entering France for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries on the Visit World service platform for tourists, migrants and expats.

Photo: AFP

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in France;

Legal advice on businessmedicaleducational and immigration issues in France;

Travel and health insurance for foreigners in France;

Insurance for foreign students in France.

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