The US and Canadian embassies have warned of a nationwide strike in France on Tuesday 5th February. The Confédération générale du travail (GCT) has called on all worker to undertake a general strike, and have called on the Gilets Jaunes to join them. There have been specific calls ‘to block major transport routes (roads, train stations and airports).’ There is a serious possibility of disruption to flights and the transport network. Please check with your airline or travel agent to confirm your booking before heading out.
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.
- If you are driving, be aware that protestors may be demonstrating at toll booths, roundabouts, or transport hubs. Keep an eye out for people wearing high vis jackets, and drive carefully when in the vicinity of demonstrators. If in doubt, pull over somewhere safe and find an alternative route.
- 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.
- 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
Twitter accounts to follow
Official travel advice
#France Demonstration Alert: A nationwide strike and demonstrations by labor unions representing the transportation, education, health, and social welfare sectors will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, across France. Air and rail travel may be affected. https://t.co/AOI5spntfW pic.twitter.com/NVNlmyjIg4
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) February 4, 2019
[#CONSULAR] Canadian 🇨🇦 citizens in France 🇫🇷: a general #strike is planned in several cities in 🇫🇷. We advise you to follow the instructions of local authorities and check our travel advice ➡ https://t.co/gRrxOkOunl #5février pic.twitter.com/Bn8vRHU1VB
— Embassy of Canada in France (@CanEmbFrance) February 4, 2019
From the US Emabassy in Paris –
Event: A nationwide strike and demonstrations by labor unions representing the transportation, education, health, and social welfare sectors will take place on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 across France. Air and rail travel may be affected.
In Paris, a demonstration is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Hotel de Ville followed by a march to the Place de la Concorde near the U.S. Embassy. Therefore, the Embassy will close to the public at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. We will resume our normal business hours beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance may contact the Embassy at 01 43 12 22 22 (telephone in France) or (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22 (telephone from the United States).
Please see the U.S. Embassy website for additional security and travel information.
Please click through here for the rest of the advisory, including contact information.
Which Paris sites will be closed?
Tourists sites in Paris may be affected by the strike. This is the Paris Tourist Information‘s list of museums and tourists sites that will be closed – click through to check your itinerary before you head out.
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