France: How could the current ‘state of emergency’ affect your holiday?

Added 25/02/2016

On Friday 13th November, multiple terrorist attacks by Islamic State were carried out across Paris, plunging France into a national state of emergency.

The UK and French governments have advised that it should generally be fine to travel to and holiday in France and Paris, but you should take sensible precautions, such as being vigilant in public places and subscribing to email alerts from the government or a reputable news source so you can keep up to date with any announcements concerning national security.

The French government have put additional security in place, especially at airports and train stations, so there may be delays because of this, which you should plan for in advance. Border control checks have been implemented at all entry points into France, so again there may be some delays if you are entering the country by road. It may be helpful to carry your passport with you at all times in case of additional security checks.

If, in the unlikely event another attack occurs during your trip, the British government advises you to remember three key words to get to safety – escape, hide, alert. You should move away from the danger, while trying to assist others, but do not put yourself at risk. You should then find a secure place away from windows and hide behind something solid, such as a pillar, and turn any mobile devices off so you do not alert the attacker to your presence. As soon as you know you are safe, dial 17 or 112, both of which will connect you with the French emergency services.

For anyone planning a trip to France worried about the terrorist threat, it should be generally safe, if not safer than usual because of the extra security measures put in place.

Although it is important keep your wits about you and follow government advice, it is still very unlikely that you would be caught up in a terrorist attack in France so you should be able to relax and enjoy your holiday. 

To find out more about travel insurance cover and terrorism read our Guide to travel insurance and the threat of terrorism.