Official Travel Advice for France
Summary - removal of information on planned protests on 1 May 2019
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
Protests linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement continue across France, generally taking place on Saturdays. A number of previous demonstrations have led to violence and extensive damage to property in Paris and in other cities across the country. If demonstrations do turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie presence is to be expected. Motorists travelling through France may continue to experience some delays or blockages caused by local demonstrators - you should drive with caution as protestors may be present on roads, motorways and toll booths. In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.
If you’re crossing the Channel, check the website of your chosen operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.
There remain some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. There have been instances of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if isn’t safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism
All vehicles, including motorbikes, driving in central Paris, Lyon and Grenoble now need to display a special ‘pollution sticker’. You must display a sticker to drive in central Paris from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday. The requirement to display a sticker can be implemented at any time, depending on pollution levels. Some older vehicles don’t qualify for a sticker at all due to their high emissions; these vehicles can’t be driven in central Paris at all from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday. For more information, and to apply for a sticker, visit the French Ministry of Environment website (in English).
Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pick-pocketing. See Safety and security
If you’re living in or moving to France, visit our Living in France guide in addition to this travel advice.
If you’re travelling to France to do business or provide services, see further guidance on providing services in France after EU Exit.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
The Emergency phone number in France is 112. If you need to contact other emergency services call 15 (medical), 17 (police) or 18 (fire).
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:France
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 81,411,000 in 2011
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Population: 2,234,105 (in 2009-01)
Largest City: Prefectures in France