Security of foreign visitors in France

General security measures

What measures have been taken to ensure the security of tourists?

Security is a priority for the public authorities and tourism professionals:

- The state of emergency is a measure declared by the President of the French Republic to keep people in France safe. This provisional measure means increased security checks and greater police powers.

- Police and gendarmerie reinforcements have been deployed throughout national territory.

- Inspections and staff levels have been increased in public transport and around sites receiving the public, including tourist attractions.

- Lastly, all representatives of the tourism sector have announced the recruitment of additional security staff to ensure the safety of visitors.

Are there any specific instructions for groups of travellers?

There are no specific measures concerning groups. Groups must nevertheless respect the general instructions given by the public authorities.

Entering and travelling within French territory

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

All foreign visitors, including European Union (EU) nationals, must carry identification (passport or national identity card). The police may require visitors to show identification at any time, including when entering or leaving national territory.

The increased security checks have little effect on waiting times in airports or stations with international lines (Thalys, Eurostar, etc.).

For non-EU nationals who require a visa in order to enter French territory, have the issuance conditions changed in recent months?

Visa issuance conditions have not changed. Waiting times have even been reduced in a certain number of countries. Visa validity periods also remain unchanged.


What public transport security measures have been taken?

Checks prior to boarding have been stepped up for flights and international rail services. Thanks to the increase in staff numbers in recent months, waiting times remain more or less unchanged.

More generally, surveillance and control measures have been introduced on public transport. The police can carry out checks on people and baggage. They also reserve the right, as an exceptional measure, to prohibit people from carrying certain personal belongings that are considered dangerous.

Hotels and Restaurants

What security measures have been taken in French hotels?

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.

What security measures have been taken in restaurants, bars and clubs?

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.).

Tourist attraction and shopping

What security systems are in place at museums and 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?

As a general rule, security has been stepped up (bag inspections, frisking, refusing entry to people with suitcases, etc.).

Events, trade fairs and exhibitions

Have specific measures been taken regarding the organization and running of public events?

Throughout France, events organized in public spaces are authorized, for specific security arrangements have been made to ensure that they run smoothly. Certain events may be cancelled on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the prefects.
In Paris, due to the unprecedented method used on 14 July in Nice, the Prefecture of Police has increased police vigilance and presence, in coordination with Operation Sentinelle, during public events, as well as in high-risk areas and places that are likely to attract large crowds throughout the Paris region. Under these overall arrangements, the event Paris Plages will therefore go ahead as planned, starting on 20 July 2016.

However, some events for which security cannot be guaranteed have been cancelled, such as the car-free day on the Champs-Elysées on 7 August 2016, the open-air cinema festival in July and August in the parks and gardens of Paris, and the Quai 54 basketball tournament at the Pelouse de Reuilly on 23 and 24 July 2016.

Has the calendar of conferences, congresses and exhibitions been changed?

For several months, event organizers and site managers have been working with representatives of the authorities to increase the security of exhibitions, trade fairs, congresses and other events that are organized and hosted. The calendar of these events has not been changed.

Useful contacts

Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau: - +33 1 49 52 42 68
Paris airports:
Paris City Hall

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development:

In case of emergency:
- Ambulance service: 15
- Police: 17
- Fire brigade: 18
- European emergency number: 112

Published on 23/08/2018

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