UPDATE: We have a new post that has details of which sites are closed: Travel Advice: Is Paris safe? Updates and information on protests and which sites are closed on Saturday
More than 133 people were injured and over 400 arrested in violent clashes in Paris at the weekend. Further demonstrations are planned for Saturday 8th December. The police have reportedly told shops and restaurants on the Champs-Élysées to close on Saturday. Some museums will also be shut.
We have pulled together information, advice and useful Twitter accounts for you to follow, to help you stay safe.
These protests started in late November and have seen petrol pumps run dry in several places, violence in the heart of Paris, and a police stand off with a man who threatened to detonate a grenade. You can read our full coverage of the recent protests here.
What you should look out for
Traffic disruption – make sure you have sufficient time for any necessary journeys. Be aware public transport could be busier than normal, and could be targeted by protesters.
Ambulance strike – the US Embassy mentioned in a tweet on Monday that there was an ongoing ambulance strike. Be aware that the emergency services will likely experience disruption, both responding to the strikes and protests, and potentially taking part in them.
Vandalism – previous protests saw damage to shops, cars, monuments and other infrastructure. Avoid crowds where possible so you do not get caught up in this. Cars were set on fire – be aware the fire could spread, and that the smoke can be very harmful, especially to children and the elderly. There were reports of large stones being thrown as well.
Tear gas – the police responded to protests with tear gas. This can drift and cause health problems. This article sets out what to do if you are hit by tear gas.
Burnt-out cars in central Paris a day after anti-government protesters torched dozens and clashed with riot police, as thousands took part in fresh “#yellowvest” protests against high fuel taxes https://t.co/V7lnHCp8Dq #GiletsJaunes
— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 2, 2018
If you are in the area, please consider the following –
- Avoid demonstrations and large crowds. Be aware clashes could occur without warning, so keep an eye on the movement of people.
- Review your travel risk management plan, so you know what to do in an emergency.
- Make sure you have the contact information of your travel insurance company and your local embassy stored on your phone and in a secure offline location.
- Monitor local media. If you are using Twitter to search, add the term ‘filter:verified’ to the search bar to see results from verified accounts only. We have suggested some accounts to follow below.
- If possible, set aside some supplies of food and bottled water.
- Keep your devices charged.
- Check in with friends and family.
- If something does happen, contact the local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.
The US Embassy highlighted the following as useful English language news sources
- https://www.ratp.fr/travaux-manifestations/manifestations (for information on Metro closures)
Twitter accounts to follow
- Australian Ambassador Brendan Berne – @AusAmbFR
- British Embassy – @UKinFrance
- Canadian Embassy – @CanEmbFrance
- Irish Embassy – @IrlEmbParis
- U.S. Embassy – @USEmbassyFrance
Official travel advice
#France Protests against fuel prices continue. Demonstrations are planned in Paris on 8 December which could be widespread and could cause disruption. You should avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities. https://t.co/9CUjN8F817 pic.twitter.com/HXCJuCFKWm
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) December 5, 2018
#France: demonstrations by the Yellow Vests movement have been taking place in #Paris and other parts of the country since November 17, 2018. Follow the instructions of local authorities. https://t.co/Hu2nSL5W0c #giletsjaunes
— travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) December 4, 2018
See our up-to-date travel advice for France below. Protests against fuel tax continue throughout the country, with road and motorway blockages in some areas. Citizens are advised to avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place. https://t.co/NijzxAVFKt pic.twitter.com/T493IPvVEO
— DFATravelWise (@dfatravelwise) December 4, 2018
Ambulance strike ongoing. Protesters have blocked traffic and are setting off fireworks. Police are on scene and have shut down Place de la Concorde and are employing tear gas. Exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations. https://t.co/QpBAGJQb9X pic.twitter.com/XgkgWPDXcm
— U.S. Embassy France (@USEmbassyFrance) December 3, 2018
Security Update: Violent clashes between police and protesters continue in the 8th, 16th, & 17th arrondissements of Paris. Avoid all demonstrations, seek shelter if in the vicinity of clashes, follow instructions of security personnel. https://t.co/PALx7wloG4 pic.twitter.com/uCyEF5P7PC
— U.S. Embassy France (@USEmbassyFrance) December 1, 2018
Large scale protests continue across Paris. Avoid all demonstrations and large crowds. Follow the advice of local authorities. Look out for each other. https://t.co/NWyTvpjsiq
— Brendan Berne (@AusAmbFR) December 1, 2018
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) December 1, 2018
Headlines and coverage
French government warns of weekend of gilets jaunes violence https://t.co/1TLuAAX1cR
— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) December 6, 2018
— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 6, 2018
More than 400 people were arrested and 133 injured in Paris on Saturday, after clashes between French police and protesters with the “yellow vest” movement https://t.co/76Ubr8eA1c pic.twitter.com/M5ghqkxlwa
— CNN International (@cnni) December 3, 2018
#UPDATE France’s Emmanuel Macron faces growing pressure to find a way out of the deepest crisis of his presidency after protests over taxes sparked Paris’s worst rioting in decadeshttps://t.co/VR9oa2GmiF
— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 3, 2018
French government considers imposing a state of emergency over ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations in Paris. https://t.co/x3A9hh6uip
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 2, 2018
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) December 2, 2018
Riot police use teargas against protesters in Paris https://t.co/ok7fAKwe3w
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) December 1, 2018
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