If you are worried about security in France this summer, keep calm and have a look at this FAQ’s.
These FAQs aim to help tourism professionals answer questions from their customers on the measures that have been taken to ensure the safety of the French population and foreign visitors. In spite of the events that occurred last year, France remains the world’s most popular tourist destination (EVE survey), with nearly 85 million visitors. The French authorities’ efforts to improve tourist reception and security will continue throughout the summer season, which will be full of cultural and sporting events, including Euro 2016 and the Tour de 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 numbers have been increased in public transport and around public sites, including tourist attractions (three-fold increase in staff at Parisian sites compared to usual levels).
– 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 travelers?
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 ATTRACTIONS 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?
Events held in public spaces are authorized. Specific security systems are in place to ensure that they run smoothly.
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.
SPECIFIC SECURITY MEASURES FOR EURO 2016
What are the host cities and dates of the event?
The host cities are: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse. The competition starts on 10 June and ends on 10 July 2016, the day of the final.
What security measures have been taken to protect Euro 2016 supporters?
During Euro 2016, specific measures are being taken to ensure optimum security around the stadiums and on public transport.
A contingent of police officers from each country that has qualified will be in France during them competition.
– For Euro 2016, the French Ministry of the Interior is inviting police officers from the countries participating in the tournament.
– Accompanied by French police officers, they will follow the supporters of their national team as it moves through the competition.
– In uniform, they will patrol the stadiums and surrounding areas, the fan zones, and airports and stations, depending on local requirements.
– These police officers will help to manage foreign supporters in the host cities.
– They will be able to interact with the supporters and communicate with them. They will
enable the public to be welcomed and assisted in their native language.
– They will also be able to alert the local authorities to the presence of supporters who pose a risk and to identify them.
Particular efforts have been made to increase video surveillance. In total, over 3,400 mobile police
officers and gendarmes will be specifically responsible for ensuring the security of the stadiums and fan zones, and no fewer than 72,000 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilized, in addition to 5,200 civil security staff and 10,000 soldiers as part of Operation Sentinelle.
Can these foreign police officers be reached by calling specific numbers?
No, there are no specific numbers. All calls should be made to the numbers 17 and 112.
However, the French police services will be able to ask their foreign counterparts questions at all times as needed, because these police officers will be gathered at a dedicated centre (international police cooperation centre).
Will there be emergency police services specifically dedicated to Euro 2016?
No. But France receives several million foreign tourists every year. Emergency operators are therefore used to handling calls in foreign languages.
Will there be separate queues for groups of supporters at airports?
No, supporters will queue with the other passengers and follow the standard procedures. Since France is used to receiving many tourists throughout the year, it will have no trouble managing groups of supporters.
Will there be fan zones?
Yes, there will be fan zones. They have been designed to ensure optimum security without affecting the festive atmosphere that should prevail during the tournament.
Is there free access to the fan zones?
Yes, the fan zones are open to all and free of charge. Security measures will be implemented to ensure security inside and outside the fan zone. The measures will be adapted as needed, ranging from systematic inspection of bags to targeted frisking. There will be video surveillance.
Will there be increased security around the fan zones?
Yes, security measures will be taken to ensure a high level of security inside and around the fan zones.
The zones will be enclosed, with security checks at all entrances, and alcohol consumption will be regulated. The emergency resources available will also be adapted to the size of the fan zones.
Is there increased security in the stadiums?
Yes, the system set up by the organizers was designed jointly with the relevant government departments and guarantees a high level of security with appropriate emergency resources. The State will also provide additional security resources outside the stadiums.
What security checks will people undergo at the entrance to the stadium (bag inspections?
At the entrance, bags will be inspected and people will be frisked systematically. There will be lockers where supporters can leave their bags, luggage and helmets before entering. Alcohol consumption will be regulated.
Do I need to show identification matching the name on my ticket in order to enter the stadium?
No, there is no identity check. Only the ticket is required in order to access the stadium. However, the organizers reserve the right to request to see official identification.
How early should I arrive in order to access the stadium?
The gates to the stadium open three hours before the start of the match, enabling the spectators to enjoy the activities organized in the stadium. There will also be a fan walk, where supporters can enjoy a fun parade along the final kilometre before entering the stadium.
Can coaches park normally, including around the stadiums?
There are no specific instructions regarding coach parking. A few tourist attractions have moved their parking to temporary parking areas nearby, which are clearly indicated.
Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://en.parisinfo.com/
firstname.lastname@example.org – +33 1 49 52 42 68
Paris airports: http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/homepage
Paris City Hall http://next.paris.fr/english
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/
In case of emergency:
· Ambulance service: 15
· Police: 17
· Fire brigade: 18
· European emergency number: 112