Canada Has Updated Its Travel Advisory For France & Tourists Will Want To Take Note

It could affect your travel plans. 👇🇫🇷

Trending Staff Writer
A French flag. Right: The Eiffel Tower.

A French flag. Right: The Eiffel Tower.

If a trip to Paris or the South of France is a part of your plans for 2023, you'll want to take note of a travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada.

Canada's travel advisory for France is warning Canadians heading to the country of ongoing strikes and demonstrations, and it could impact your vacation.

In a tweet on March 31, the Government of Canada issued a warning to travellers about protests in parts of the country.

"Strikes and demonstrations have led to vandalism and violent clashes in parts of France," it wrote, directing travellers to avoid certain areas and refer to the government's travel advisory for more information.

While they are usually planned, the advisory warns that "unauthorized and spontaneous" demonstrations could also occur.

As the advisory, which warns travellers to "exercise a high degree of caution," states that the strikes are taking place over France's proposed pension changes, which would push up the retirement age from 62 to 64, according to CNN.

The move saw impromptu protests break out in Paris and in several other French cities in March, and labour unions are planning another round of nationwide demonstrations come April 6, the Associated Press reports.

According to the Canadian government's travel advisory, the strikes have been taking place since January 2023 and have "led to acts of vandalism and violent clashes between demonstrators and police in certain places."

As the advisory notes, security forces have used tactics to disperse crowds, such as tear gas and water cannons. In some cases, however, protestors have suffered bodily harm from the use of force by police.

The AP reports that a man in a march in Paris "lost a testicle to an officer’s club, and a police grenade took the thumb of a woman in Rouen" in the region of Normandy.

Travellers should also be on the lookout for "radical activists and vandals" who are said to use "aggressive and violent tactics during demonstrations in order to cause damage and provoke a strong response from the police."

This can include throwing stones, smoke grenades, bottles and other debris at rallies.

As CNN reports, Paris and most other major cities in France, including Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille and Rennes, have been affected by the protests.

Some attractions are being affected, with both the Eiffel Tower and Versailles closing recently during national strike days.

"Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time," warns the government's notice.

Those who are in France or are planning to travel to the country are advised to avoid areas where large strikes or rallies are taking place, monitor local media to stay up to date on the situation, follow the instructions of local authorities, and expect "enhanced security measures and an increased police presence."

Travellers should also be prepared to change their plans in case of a disturbance, as demonstrations can lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

Canada travel advisories

The government has also updated its travel advice for other tourist hot spots.

Canada's Mexico travel advisory was recently updated to include several regional notices, with the government now warning tourists to avoid non-essential travel in parts of the country due to high levels of violence and crime.

The government also issued several travel advisories for countries in Europe and Asia due to potential threats to safety, including the risk of terrorism and ongoing demonstrations.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Katherine Caspersz
Trending Staff Writer
Katherine Caspersz is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.