Clarifications on trips to France after the Paris attacks
Are France’s borders closed?
No, the borders are not closed, but the President of the French Republic has decided to establish systematic checks at entry points to the French territory (road, rail, port and airport crossing points).
What are the implications of the restoration of border controls (required documents)?
The documents that must be presented during border controls are the same as those usually required for nationals of your country. However, delays are to be expected in airports and stations served by international services (Thalys, Eurostar, etc.).
Do Europeans need their passports to enter France?
Citizens of European Union Member States need a valid identity document (ID card or passport). Generally, the documents required to enter France are the same as usual.
Is my visa still valid?
Yes, the visas issued prior to the establishment of border controls remain valid to enter France.
Are there delays in visa issuance?
The French consular services are doing their best to ensure that visas are issued in the same timeframes as usual.
Are tourist attractions, museums and monuments open?
All public cultural establishments in Paris, the Île-de-France and France more generally are open. Open sites include, non-exhaustively: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Château de Versailles, Disneyland Paris, Grand Palais, Centre Georges Pompidou, Notre Dame de Paris, Paris Lido, Crazy Horse, Bateaux Parisiens, and the Moulin Rouge. If required by the situation, the Prefect of Police may order the exceptional closure of certain establishments in order to ensure public safety.
Are concerts and shows cancelled?
In principle, scheduled shows and concerts will go ahead and venues will be open, unless the organizers or prefecture decide otherwise. The sector federations have announced enhanced security measures. The responsibility for the organization and safety of the event is incumbent upon the operator and organizer.
Security measures, including access controls and entry screenings, are being enhanced to ensure the greatest safety of audiences, performers and works.
Are shops open?
All shops are open, including Grands Magasins and major shopping centres.
Are their special measures in French hotels?
As provided for in French law, hotels are required to ask all foreign customers to complete an individual police form (Article 6 of the Decree of 18 August 2015).
Moreover, each establishment has the right to carry out security checks.
Are their restrictions on the opening of restaurants, bars and clubs?
No. Restaurants, bars and clubs are open and operating normally.
Are public events going ahead?
Events organized in public spaces are cancelled or adjourned only in Paris and the wider Île-de-France region, until 22 November 2015 inclusive.
Will conferences and trade shows go ahead?
The United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) will go ahead, and will be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015. Upcoming trade fairs and conferences will go ahead, with enhanced security measures.
What steps have been taken to enhance the safety of tourists?
The public authorities and tourism professionals have made safety a national priority:
A state of emergency has been declared by the President of the French Republic, conferring upon civil authorities extended policing powers in order to ensure the safety of the French population and of tourists. It was initially valid for twelve days, and has been extended for three months;
The state of emergency does not mean that a curfew has been declared. Generally, the measures implemented aim to strengthen security and have no impact on the quality of the experience of foreign tourists in France;
Police and gendarmerie reinforcements have been deployed across France. In the Paris region alone, about 3000 soldiers have been deployed to reinforce those already in place. Eventually, more than 5000 additional police and gendarmes will ensure security;
Inspections and staff levels will be increased in public transport and around sites receiving the public, including tourist attractions (three-fold increase in staffing at Parisian sites);
Lastly, the representatives of the tourism sector have announced the recruitment of additional security staff in order to ensure the safety of visitors.
Are there travel restrictions within France?
There are no general travel restrictions on travel and journeys. Short-term restrictive measures may however be taken by the prefects of individual geographic Departments.
However, law enforcement forces may carry out checks on people and luggage. They also reserve the right to prohibit the carriage of certain personal effects considered dangerous.
Are domestic transport services running?
Air and rail connections are operating and running normally. National and international train services are thus operating a normal service.
Boarding checks have been stepped up for flights and the access to international rail services. Additional delays are to be expected.
In Paris, the metro, buses, trams and suburban rail services (RER) are operating normally, and stations are open. Surveillance and control measures have been enhanced generally in public transport.
Are flights to and from France cancelled?
We have not seen any cancellation of flights since 13 November.
Is there any specific advice for groups?
No specific restrictions have been placed on groups of travellers, who must however comply with the general instructions given by the public authorities. However, school trips have been cancelled until 22 November across France, including those to and from foreign countries.
Can coaches and buses park normally?
There are no specific instructions regarding bus and coach parks. In some rare cases, certain tourist sites have moved their parking towards replacement areas nearby, which are clearly indicated.