Security measures in France

The safety and security of tourists in France is of the utmost importance. A number of reinforcements to security measures are in place throughout the country – please take a moment to familiarise yourself with them before travelling. Be vigilant in public places and follow the advice of local French authorities. For assistance in any emergency situation, dial 112.

What general measures have been put in place to ensure tourists’ security?

The French President declared a State of Emergency until July 2017 to help keep residents and visitors to France safe, a measure that involves increased security checks and greater police power and presence. Police reinforcements have been deployed throughout national territory. Inspections and staff numbers have been increased on public transport and in public areas, particularly around tourist attractions – a three-fold increase in staff has been witnessed at attractions in Paris. Furthermore, all tourism sector representatives have recruited additional security staff to ensure visitor safety.

What identification is needed to enter and travel within French territory?

All foreign visitors, including European Union (EU) nationals, must carry identification in the form of a passport or national identity card. French police may require visitors to show identification at any time, including when entering or leaving the country. The increased security checks have little effect on waiting times at airports, or at train stations serving international lines such as Thalys and Eurostar.

Have visa issuance conditions changed in recent months for non-EU nationals?

Visa issuance conditions remain unchanged, and waiting times have even been reduced in a certain number of countries. Visa validity periods also remain unchanged.

What security measures have been put in place on public transport?

Extra checks prior to boarding have been stepped up for flights and international rail services, but thanks to an increase in staff numbers, waiting times remain more or less unchanged. Heightened surveillance has also been introduced on public transport. French police can carry out checks on passengers and baggage, and reserve the right (as an exceptional measure) to prohibit passengers from carrying certain personal belongings that are considered dangerous.

What about security measures in French hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs?

Under French law, hotels are required to ask all foreign customers to complete an individual police form. Moreover, each establishment has the right to carry out security checks. Restaurants, bars and clubs are open and operating normally. However, to guarantee the security of their customers, each establishment has the right to carry out security checks (bag inspections, frisking, etc.).

What security systems are in place at national museums, shopping centres and other tourist attractions?

Public cultural institutions in Paris, Île-de-France, and France more generally have stepped up their security measures (bag inspections, frisking, refusing entry to people with large suitcases, etc.). If they feel it is necessary, the authorities may take exceptional measures regarding the conditions of access to certain institutions to ensure public security.

What security systems are in place in shops and shopping centres?

Public cultural institutions in Paris and the rest of France have stepped up their security measures with bag inspections, frisking and refusal of entry to visitors with large suitcases. French authorities may take exceptional measures regarding the conditions of access to certain institutions, if they deem it necessary to ensure public security.

Has France’s public events calendar been changed, or have specific steps been taken in event organisation and staging?

All events held in public spaces are authorised, and specific security systems are in place to ensure they run smoothly. Event organisers and site managers have been working with the French authorities for several months to tighten security at exhibitions, trade fairs, congresses and other public events – but the calendar itself remains unchanged.