Travel To France During Protest

Travel To France During Protest

Holidaymakers planning a trip across the channel should note that a general strike is set to take place across France on 23 March 2023.

France has had a recent flurry of protests and strikes in response to the unpopular pension reform legislation. Employees in the fuel, utility, education, transportation, and law enforcement sectors went on strike in opposition to the plan, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

March 23 is slated as the next big one-day strike, with widespread disruption expected on public services including transportation.

If you have already booked your trip, is it still safe to visit France during this period? 

Safety And Security of Travellers

The first thing travellers need to think about is their personal safety.

While tourists are unlikely to face any danger to themselves from the protests, guidance from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises visitors to avoid demonstrations and remain vigilant.

“If demonstrations do turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie presence is to be expected. In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

Marches tend to be concentrated in the big cities, especially Paris, with routes published in advance so that you can stay away. Strikes are noisy and attention-grabbing but violence against passersby is rare however, tourists should still be aware of their surroundings.

Travellers visiting Paris should avoid the Place de la Concorde and the National Assembly which are assembly points for the protests.

Transport Disruptions

Strikes aim to disrupt, and because they usually succeed in doing so, there is a chance that your flight, train, bus, or boat will be delayed or cancelled.

Eurostar has confirmed it will be running a revised service on 23 March, with eight services currently cancelled. Ryanair said it was expecting possible cancellations and delays on flights to and from France from 20 to 23 March. They advised all passengers to monitor their Ryanair app and the Ryanair website for the latest updates regarding their flights.

Major airlines have also warned of delays.

In a statement, Air France said:

“Air France plans to operate on these days 95 per cent of its flight schedule, including all its long-haul flights and its flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle.

“Last-minute delays and cancellations cannot be ruled out.”

Anyone planning to travel to France over the next 48 hours should check with their provider ahead of departure.

Do you have plans to visit France in the coming days? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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