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Everything you need to know about travel to France right now, after six airports are evacuated

Everything you need to know about travel to France right now, after six airports are evacuated
Written by Travel Adventures

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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